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Flood Insurance Consumer Alert from MN Dept of Commerce

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twenty-five percent of all flood insurance claims occur in areas where business owners and residents never expected a flood to happen. Heavy rains this fall and large snow totals throughout the winter have combined to pose a serious flood threat to portions of Minnesota. Read the following for information from the Minnesota Department of Commerce about flood insurance...

Minnesota Department of Commerce
Business & Consumer Alert

March 2, 2011

Dear Minnesota Business Owners:

Heavy rains this fall and large snow totals throughout the winter have combined to pose a serious flood threat to most portions of Minnesota. The threat is particularly serious along the Mississippi, St. Croix, and Minnesota rivers.

In preparation for the upcoming spring thaw, we urge the public to review their flood insurance needs, including for businesses or commercial properties. It is important that you act now, as flood insurance policies are not activated until 30 days after the premium is paid in full.

Is My Business At Risk?
The best way to know if your business or commercial property is at risk for flooding this spring is by logging on to www.floodsmart.gov. By inputting your address into the easy-to-use One-Step Flood Risk Profile, you can find out if your business or commercial property is in a low, moderate, or high risk flood area based on the latest flood projections.

The Flood Risk Profile will also estimate your annual premium cost and suggest local insurance agents serving your area.

Moderate-to-Low Risk Flood Areas
Your business or commercial property may be at risk of flooding. As much as 25 percent of all flood insurance claims occur in areas where business owners and residents never expected a flood to happen.

Most commercial buildings in a moderate-to-low risk area qualify for coverage at a preferred rate. Preferred Risk Policy premiums are the lowest available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), offering coverage for your building and its contents at one low price.

Premiums in these areas can start as low as $550 per year for both the building and its contents, while contents only coverage starts at $145 per year. Commercial coverage gives you up to $500,000 of insurance to protect your building and up to $500,000 to protect its contents.

High-Risk Flood Areas
If your business is in a high-risk area, a standard rated policy is the only option for you. It offers separate building and contents coverage. If your commercial property is in a high-risk flood area and you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.

Next Steps
If you already have flood insurance for your business or commercial property, contact your insurance agent to discuss your policy and ensure you are prepared for any possible flooding. Then, take a photo inventory of your building and its contents to properly document your assets. This will save you time and headaches after a flood.

If you do not have flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov and use the One-Step Flood Risk Profile to determine the threat of flooding in your area and identify local insurance agents who can help you purchase flood coverage.

The spring thaw is approaching quickly. It is important to act now, and take the easy affordable preventive measures to avoid devastating losses in the upcoming flood season. It may be better to have an affordable flood policy now than pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after it is too late.

Minnesota Department of Commerce staff are on-hand and available to answer any questions you have regarding flood insurance. Please call our consumer helpline with any questions or concerns you have. You can also find more information about residential and commercial flood insurance on our website at www.commerce.state.mn.us, or call our consumer help line with any questions at (651) 296-2488.

Thank you for your attention to this important alert. Working together we can help protect businesses from the very serious threat of flooding facing Minnesota communities in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Mike Rothman
Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Commerce

at

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