COLUMBUS – With spring and National Flood Safety Week upon us, Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor is reminding Ohioans that financial protection against flood damage is not included in a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. Flood coverage has to be purchased separately and there is a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective.
“Now is the time for Ohioans to evaluate their need for flood insurance and talk with their insurance agent about potentially adding the extra protection,” Taylor said. “Anyone with questions about flood insurance should contact the Ohio Department of Insurance.”
The Department has also created a flood insurance toolkit on its website, www.insurance.ohio.gov, with information such as an agent locater, tips on how to secure coverage, what to do after a flood, and how to file a claim.
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in any community that participates in the program. The NFIP website is www.floodsmart.gov and is filled with consumer and agent friendly material. Even though flood insurance is administered by a federal program, private insurers sell the policies. An insurance agent can tell you if your community is part of NFIP and assist in determining if coverage is appropriate and affordable.
Taylor advises that all Ohioans – whether they live in a flood prone area or not – consider coverage. According to the NFIP, people outside of high-risk areas file more than 20 percent of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.
Flood insurance is available to protect homes, condominiums, apartments and non-residential buildings, including commercial structures and their contents. The NFIP offers basement flood coverage for structural elements, essential equipment and other basic items normally located in a basement. In addition, the NFIP encourages people to purchase both building and contents coverage for the broadest protection.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has a floodplain management program that helps citizens and agents learn about flood hazard areas. ODNR can be reached at www.ohiodnr.com and 614-265-6750.
March 12-16 has been designated National Flood Safety Week. Visit www.weathersafety.ohio.gov for more information. And be sure to visit www.insurance.ohio.gov or follow the Department on twitter @OHInsurance and on Face book at www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentofInsurance for more information.