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Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to communities which agree to adopt and enforce flood plain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.

The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to communities which agree to adopt and enforce flood plain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.

NFIP coverage is available only in participating communities. Almost all of the nation's communities with serious flooding potential have joined the NFIP. Both Cass County in North Dakota and Clay County in Minnesota participate in the program.

To buy a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or contact one of the private insurance companies that sell and service federal flood insurance policies through an agreement with the Federal Insurance Administration.

You may call the National Flood Insurance Program to obtain the name of an agent in your area who writes flood insurance. The number is (888) CALL-FLOOD, ext. 445. You can also check your local phone directory under flood assistance.

There are a number of factors determining the premium for flood insurance coverage. They include:

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- Amount of coverage purchased.

- Location, age, occupancy and design of the building or house.

- For buildings in special flood hazard areas, elevation of the building or home.

The cost of a $125,000 flood insurance policy for a single family residence is approximately $570 per year.

The standard flood insurance policy covers direct physical losses caused by floods, as well as losses resulting from flood-related erosion, caused by waves or currents of water activity exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or by a severe storm, or flash flood.

There are two forms of coverage, contents coverage and building coverage, and the NFIP encourages individuals to purchase both for the broadest coverage. Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements, such as finished walls, floors or ceilings, or personal belongings such as furniture, but it does cover structural elements, essential equipment and other basic items normally located in a basement like sump pumps, furnaces, washer/dryers and freezers.

There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy can become effective.

To file a claim, start by calling your insurance agent to report damage. The agent will prepare a Notice of Loss form and an adjuster will be assigned to assist you. The policyholder must file a "proof of loss" within 60 days of the date of loss.

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If possible, photograph the outside and inside of the premises, showing the flooding, the property damage and the height of the water.

Separate the damaged from the undamaged property for the adjuster's examination, and compile a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods.

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