Montana Insurance Commissioner warns Montanans of flood risk

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Montana Insurance Commissioner warns Montanans of flood risk – Daily Montanan

Montana Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing reminded residents to review and evaluate their flood insurance policies as spring approaches in a press release.

Many flood insurance policies take up to 30 days before becoming effective and the release explained that many policyholders may not realize the coverage has the waiting period.

Homeowners should evaluate specific factors in their area that may increase their risk of flood damage or loss, such as:

  • Recent wildfire activity which can dramatically decrease the soil’s ability to absorb rainfall, causing a heightened risk of flash floods.
  • Significant snowpack levels or higher than average regional temperatures which can increase runoff to streams, rivers, and lakes causing flooding.
  • In urban areas, close proximity to storm drains or low-lying areas such as underpasses and parking garages can become overwhelmed by rainfall or plugged by debris.

“A homeowner’s insurance policy does not typically cover flood damage. With temperatures rising, time may be of the essence.” Commissioner Troy Downing said In the release. “Flood insurance is not something you can purchase last minute. In many cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for flood insurance to take effect.”

According to the release, a homeowner is 27 times more likely to experience a flood than a fire during a 30-year mortgage, and just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to an average home. The average flood insurance policy in Montana is $527 a year.

“Damage caused by floods often costs thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Flood insurance is a vital tool to protect your property and your financial security,” Downing said in the release.