Survey: Despite Need Only 17% of Americans Have Flood Insurance

June 16, 2008

Record widespread flooding across the Midwest has once again highlighted the catastrophic damages that flooding can cause. Yet a survey conducted for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reveals that only 17 percent of Americans have a flood insurance policy.

The proportion of Americans with a flood insurance policy is relatively unchanged from a year ago when 14 percent said they have flood insurance.

In the North Central states, where much of the flooding is occurring, 17 percent of people said they have flood insurance, up from 9 percent in 2007, according to the I.I.I. survey.

“The results show that although more people are buying flood insurance the percentage is still dangerously low,” said Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods, including inland flooding, flash floods and seasonal storms, occur in every region of the United States.

The I.I.I. survey also found that:

* In the Northeast, the proportion of homeowners with flood insurance rose by 10 points, from 10 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2008.
* In the Western region, 15 percent said they have flood insurance in 2008, up from 13 percent in 2007.
* Slightly fewer homeowners in the South now say they have flood insurance-17 percent compared with 20 percent a year ago. These findings are consistent with National Flood Insurance Program data that shows an increase in the number of people non-renewing flood policies in Gulf Coast states.

This analysis is based on a national consumer public opinion survey conducted for the I.I.I. by Opinion Research Corporation during the period of May 15-18, 2008. Some 1,004 individuals were interviewed for the survey.

Source: I.I.I.

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