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Maine.gov > PFR Home > Insurance Regulation > All Press Releases > As Peak Hurricane Season Arrives, Maine Bureau of Insurance urges Consumers to Protect Property with Flood Insurance
Augusta, Maine -
and Washington, D.C. – As peak hurricane season arrives, the Maine Bureau of Insurance and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are urging consumers to consider purchasing or renewing a flood insurance policy. More than 2,500 flood policies in Maine are up for renewal before the current hurricane season ends. With experts predicting another above-average hurricane season, now is the time for people to protect their home and property against flooding--the most frequently occurring natural disaster in the United States.
“As the Patriot’s Day storm in April demonstrated, flooding can be devastating and recovery is often very costly,” Acting Superintendent of Insurance Eric A. Cioppa stated. “With hurricane season upon us, Maine residents should learn their flood risk and take steps to protect their home or business from potential flood damage.”
Acting Superintendent Cioppa noted that homeowners insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
Flood insurance backed by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program provides homeowners, business owners, and renters with the best protection available against flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that 8,087 policies issued in Maine have flood insurance coverage for losses that property owners would otherwise have to pay themselves. Claims paid throughout the United States during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons totaled nearly $18 billion, roughly $3 billion more than the NFIP had paid out since the program began in 1978.
Hurricanes and related flooding impact the entire Eastern seaboard. Many scientists predict warmer waters in the Atlantic will be fuel for stronger hurricanes over the next 15 to 20 years – and storm surge can be a major factor for coastal areas. Flood insurance covers flooding from tidal and storm surge where other policies may not. Although storm surge caused by hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak havoc on coastal areas, some of the most damaging floods occur hundreds of miles from the shoreline, days after the storm’s initial landfall. As hurricanes and tropical storms move inland, torrential rains and high winds intensify the risks of flooding.
Flood insurance is affordable and available through about 25 insurance companies in NFIP participating communities in Maine. The average flood insurance policy premium is approximately $704 per year. In low-to moderate-risk areas, homeowners can protect their properties with lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) that start at $112 a year. More information is available at www.FloodSmart.gov, by calling 1-800-427-2419 or on the Bureau of Insurance web site at http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/flood/index.htm
The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation which encourages sound ethical business practices through high quality, impartial and efficient regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions and occupations for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine. Consumers can reach the Bureau through its web site at www.maine.gov/insurance; by calling 800-300-5000 in state; or by writing to Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.
Last Updated: April 7, 2009 2:38 PM
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