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Maine Insurance Superintendent warns residents to consider flood policies

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AUGUSTA — Exact percentages vary, but news from Texas consistently paints a bleak picture regarding the number of homes protected by flood insurance – with the vast number of homes impacted by Hurricane Harvey reportedly uninsured.

“Many people assume incorrectly that their basic homeowners insurance policy will cover damage from flooding,” Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa stated. “Flood coverage must be purchased separately. Talk with your agent about whether you need flood insurance.”

While mortgage lenders usually require homes in flood zones to have flood coverage, it’s usually an optional purchase for all others.

The Atlantic hurricane season generally runs from June to November and another above average season of hurricanes and named storms is predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Inland waterways can flood as well. Maine residents are urged to take steps to protect their homes, investments and families. The following resources provide initial guidance.

Flood Insurance: Details are available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by calling 1-800-427-4661 or online at www.floodsmart.gov.

Inventory Checklist: A checklist can be helpful in establishing an insurance claim. Start one at www.maine.gov/insurance/consumer/individualsfamilies/homeownersrenters/homeinventorychecklist.html and keep a hard copy in a secure location away from your home, with insurance policies, medical records, and other important documents.

Emergency Preparedness: For information about preparing yourself and family for emergency situations, such as floods, storms, power outages and home fires, visit https://www.ready.gov/ The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) provides Maine specific information at www.maine.gov/mema/prepare/.

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