On March 16 Gov. Eric Holcomb declared four more counties as disaster areas, bringing to of 35 the number of counties covered by disaster emergency declarations issued since Feb. 24.
The state has been beset by widespread flooding and infrastructure damage caused by sustained heavy rainfall. In addition to Feb. 24, Holcomb made previous declarations on Feb. 26 and 27 and March 2 and 7.
Gibson, LaGrange, Vanderburgh and Vermillion were added on March 16 to the list of Indiana counties under the disaster emergency declaration — LaPorte, Noble, Posey, Wabash, Warren, Jackson, Kosciusko, Newton, Porter, Harrison, Jasper, Ohio, Pulaski, Benton, Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Jefferson, Spencer, Warrick, Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White.
The disaster declaration means the state Department of Homeland Security can take necessary actions to provide expanded emergency services and is a step the state is required to take to request assistance from the federal government.
Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson has issued a 60-day cancellation moratorium for those counties under the disaster declaration. Under the moratorium, affected policyholders in impacted counties will be granted an additional 60 days to make their payments without their policies being canceled and without penalties. The grace period is not a waiver; it is an extension of the period in which to pay the premium. After the 60 days, the policyholder will need to resume making premium payments or lose coverage.
The Indiana Insurance Department clarified that because of the breadth of the storms, torrential rains and subsequent flooding in the state, the implementation of the moratorium should also be considered on a case-by-case basis in unnamed counties.