Minnesota's Governor Signs Flood Insurance Disclosure Bill

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill on May 14 that requires insurance companies and agents to notify homeowners annually if their insurance policies don't include flood coverage. The required notice will say the homeowners have the right to buy flood insurance if they choose.

Pawlenty had proposed the legislation last August after floods hit southeastern Minnesota; many living there were unaware that flood insurance was not included in their home insurance policy or believed flood insurance was unavailable to them.

"During my visits to southeastern Minnesota last year, many homeowners were unclear about their flood insurance eligibility," Pawlenty said. "This new law will help consumers by giving them more information about their insurance coverage options. We are hopeful this will increase the number of homeowners purchasing flood insurance so that more Minnesotans will be covered the next time flooding hits our state."

Standard homeowners policies don't include flood insurance. This new law requires written notice to homeowners stating their policy does not include flood insurance and they have the right to purchase flood insurance, provided their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners who live in a flood zone must purchase flood insurance from NFIP.

Flood insurance becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased, and the state says 20-25 percent of all flood claims filed in Minnesota come from areas that are not designated high risk for flooding.

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