February 27, 2015
Professional & Financial Regulation – Insurance
Governor Paul R. LePage is joining Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa in urging all Maine home and business owners, and renters, to evaluate their need for flood insurance, given the current snow pack and coming spring thaws and rains.
“Although flooding can occur anytime of the year, the melting of ice and snow in the spring poses a heightened threat,” Governor LePage said.
Fourteen of the 15 federal disaster declarations for Maine since 2004 involved flooding, with 9 of those flooding events occurring between January and May. These floods impacted every county in Maine on multiple occasions. “There is typically a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy takes effect,” Superintendent Cioppa said. “So now is the time for Mainers to consider their needs and make decisions in order for the policy to be effective this spring.”
Cioppa reminds Maine residents that most homeowner and business policies do not cover flooding, whether from rising ground water or overflowing waterways. He also cautions home and business owners and renters from relying on cash assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the event of a flood. Even in a qualifying event such aid is usually made as a loan, which can result in a much larger monthly payment than a flood insurance policy premium.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides homeowners, business owners and renters with the best insurance protection against flooding. The NFIP can provide coverage specifically for flooding or rising ground water, and for both an insured building and its contents.
The premiums for flood insurance reflect the property’s location with low to moderate risk properties priced significantly less than high risk properties. Flood insurance is currently available through 61 insurance companies in more than 985 NFIP participating communities in Maine.
More information is available from the NFIP by calling 1-800-427-2419 or by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov. Consumers can also contact the Bureau of Insurance with questions or concerns regarding any insurance matter by calling 1-800-300-5000 or visiting www.maine.gov/insurance.
The Bureau of Insurance is one of five agencies within the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (www.maine.gov/pfr).
Information courtesy of maine.gov