By Jasmine Otam
INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers are urged to prepare for the upcoming flood season and might want to consider flood insurance.
According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, the state had record rainfall last year in June and above average precipitation in July that led to many flash flood watches and warnings across the state.
The department wants those who own property or rent to be aware of the risks and financially prepare for the damage floods can cause.
“What many Hoosiers need to understand is that damage to a home caused by flooding water is not usually covered under a standard homeowners policy,” Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner, Stephen Robertson, said in a statement. “While limited coverage for drain and sewer backup may be added to a homeowners policy, overflow that is the result of a flood is typically excluded. The department recommends that you review your policy now to determine if any damage as the result of flooding will be covered.”
The department wants people to plan ahead and be prepared for possible flooding since it takes time for flood insurance policies to go into effect.
“Spring is fast approaching, and if you need flood insurance, you’ll want to purchase it now because typically there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect,” Robertson said in a statement.
“We’ve seen a lot of situations where people had insurance, but it didn’t cover flooding even though they were in a flood area,” said Victoria Eder, disaster program manager for the American Red Cross Central Indiana chapter.
Red Cross workers help residents make the necessary precautions to prepare for a flood. They open shelters in case residents need to evacuate their home and distribute food and clean up kits.
Eder said in some cases the American Red Cross can offer financial relief, depending on the extent of the damage, but urges residents to get flood insurance.
Flooding doesn’t have to just be high waters to cause substantial damage. According to the National Flood Insurance Flood Program, rapid accumulation of surface water or mudflow is considered a flood.
More information about the National Flood Insurance Program can be found on FEMA’s website.
Jasmine Otam is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.