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Flood Victims Awash With Confusion

Insurance agents in areas threatened by flooding from the Missouri River say that federal officials are confusing property owners by encouraging them to buy flood...
July 12, 2011

Insurance agents in areas threatened by flooding from the Missouri River say that federal officials are confusing property owners by encouraging them to buy flood insurance policies that may not cover damage from the current flooding. Insurance companies cite policy language specifying that only damage that occurred two months before the policy was purchased is covered. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging landowners to buy the policies anyway since some damage may be covered under the complicated rules of the flood insurance program.

The confusion is complicating the concerns of property owners in six states, from North Dakota to Missouri, as the threat of flooding continues. Property owners most affected by the FEMA confusion are those who normally do not experience flooding, but recently decided to purchase flood insurance. Larry Case, executive vice president of the PIA-affiliated Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, said that FEMA has not been clear about the coverage and is frustrating agents because they are unable to give a definitive answer to policyholders' questions.

Read more on the FEMA confusion: Flood Victims Awash With Confusion (Washington Post 7/10/11)

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