Winter in Oregon brings rain – and lots of it. This year is no different and the Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) reminds people to be prepared. The forecast for this weekend and into next week is for continued rain and with flooding already happening in the Northwest, there are ways you can be ready.
Most Oregonians with flood coverage have it through the National Flood Insurance Program. You can also purchase private flood insurance through your insurance company. Typical homeowners or renters policies do not cover flood damage. If your insurance company does not offer flood insurance, you can shop different companies that do.
DFR has resources available on its website about flood insurance. It is important to be prepared before flooding takes place. One way to do that is to build a financial first-aid kit and inventory. You can do this by:
- Saving account numbers – Have a safe place where those are stored and accessible.
- Having an inventory of your belongings – Take pictures or videos of your items and write down a record of what you have.
- Backing up computer files – Consider backing up your information to a secure cloud storage service or keeping an external device with important information backed up somewhere other than your home.
- Securing important documents – It is critical to keep important papers in a water-tight fire safe or a bank deposit box.
More information on this checklist can be found here.
The division also has additional storm damage resources available.
“Water damage from flooding can be devastating to your home,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner and Department of Consumer and Business Services director. “Much like a fire, flooding and storm damage can destroy your home and the items you care most about inside it. Being prepared will make dealing with the aftermath much easier.”
If you do have coverage and need to file a claim, immediately contact your insurer or agent. Also, save any receipts from repairs, housing, food, mitigation (sand bags, pumps, etc.) because reimbursements may be part of your coverage.
Before going back into your home, make sure it is safe to do so. Flood damage can make buildings insecure and unsteady. Also, you want to be careful of gas leaks and electrical wires in flooded areas.
If you don’t have flood insurance, consider purchasing it. Even those who don’t live in flood zones are susceptible under certain conditions. Contact your agent or the National Flood Insurance Program.
About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and www.dcbs.oregon.gov.