HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale is urging Montanans to prepare early for potential flooding brought on by this winter’s heavy snowfall.
Flood insurance policies typically do not take effect until 30 days after purchase, making advance planning critical for properties at risk of flooding.
“We’ve had some great skiing this year thanks to all the snow, but flooding is a risk once temperatures warm up,” Rosendale said. “The best time to prepare for a flood is while the powder is still fresh on the slopes.”
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation specifically warned residents about the danger of ice jams earlier this month.
“People living near rivers or streams should be especially mindful, as ice jams can cause flooding earlier in the season than many expect,” Rosendale said. “One ice jam on the Yellowstone a couple years ago flooded about 800 acres of our ranch pasture and nearly came up to our house.”
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood insurance, and about 20 to 25 percent of all flood claims come outside of a high-risk flood area.
Flood insurance is available in most parts of Montana through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, and private flood insurance plans may also be available.
For more information about flood insurance in Montana, visit the commissioner’s website at csimt.gov/your-insurance/flood or go to floodsmart.gov. The commissioner’s office can also be reached at (406) 444-2040 to answer questions.