Maine Advises Residents to Assess Storm Risks, Review Flood Insurance

July 11, 2012

Maine’s top insurance regulator is advising state residents to assess the risks associated with severe weather, and take steps to protect themselves and their property.

Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa reminded residents this week that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding.

“Relying solely on a standard policy may put your home and possessions in danger,” he stated.

Homeowners insurance traditionally covers damage to property caused by wind or rain, such as damage resulting from water entering a home through a leaky roof. Flood damage, however, is generally only covered if a property owner purchased insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Almost all Maine communities participate in the NFIP, and nearly every resident in participating communities, including renters, can purchase flood insurance.

“Hurricane season is underway, but it isn’t just coastal communities that are at risk,” Cioppa commented. “Heavy rains and high winds impact inland communities, as well. Because flood insurance policies have a 30 day waiting period before a new policy takes effect, planning ahead is critical.”

Consumers can obtain more information about flood insurance through the NFIP website, www.floodsmart.gov, or by calling 1-800-427-2419. Questions or concerns about insurance of all types can be directed to the Bureau of Insurance by calling 1-800-300-5000.

Additionally, the Maine Emergency Management Agency offers flood tips and recommendations at www.state.me.us/mema/.

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