VernonReporter

DNR encourages homeowners to consider flood insurance during Flood Insurance Awareness Week

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed Feb. 4-10, 2024, as Flood Insurance Awareness Week in Wisconsin to recognize our state’s increasing flood risk and the importance of having appropriate insurance coverage.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage, and on average, 40% of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claims occur outside of high-risk flood areas. With increasing annual precipitation in Wisconsin, flood insurance is an important tool to prevent financial vulnerability.

Federal flood insurance is available to residents through the National Flood Insurance Program if the local community is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners and renters can purchase a private flood insurance policy to protect their homes and belongings if their agent sells flood coverage. Homeowners and renters are encouraged to talk to their local insurance agent or visit floodsmart.gov to learn more.

The DNR floodplain program manages community enrollment in the National Flood Insurance Program, with staff serving as experts on federal flood insurance.

“Flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program is one of the tools that builds flood resiliency into our Wisconsin communities,” said Sarah Rafajko, State of Wisconsin National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator at the DNR. “Don’t wait until flood waters are rising to explore insurance.”

There is usually a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program policies go into effect, so signing up today ensures residents have coverage in place by the time spring showers start to hit Wisconsin.

Those who own property in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. Those not required to have the coverage should also consider their flood risks.

Additionally, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has a number of resources available to help consumers understand flood insurance and information on mitigating flood risk.

“One inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage, so even small or moderate floods can be financially devastating if you don’t have the right insurance,” said Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek. “Whether you rent or own, there is flood insurance coverage available for your needs.”

Learn more about flooding and flood insurance on the DNR’s Floodplain webpage.

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