COLUMBUS – Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor is reminding Ohioans that financial protection against flood damage is not included in standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Flood insurance must be purchased separately and there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
National Flood Safety Awareness Week is March 16-20 and is a great time for Ohioans to review their flood insurance. Although flood insurance is administered by the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), private insurance companies sell the policies.
“Flooding is one of the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and not having adequate protection against potential damages could be financially devastating,” said Taylor, also Director of the Department of Insurance. “Ohioans should set aside time with their insurance agent to discuss flood insurance options.”
During the past five years the average flood insurance claim totaled more than $34,000, according to the NFIP.
It’s wise to consider flood insurance whether you live in a flood prone area or not. People living outside of high-risk areas file more than 20 percent of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding, according to the NFIP.
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.
Ohioans can contact the Department of Insurance at 800-686-1526 and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for flood insurance information. You can also follow the Department on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the NFIP website www.floodsmart.gov also contains a wealth of consumer-friendly material. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ floodplain management program helps citizens and agents learn about flood hazard areas. Visit www.ohiodnr.com or call 614-265-6750 to learn more.