Survey Shows A Large Knowledge Gap Amongst Americans When it Comes to Coverage for Flood

Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:26pm EDT

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During Flood Safety Awareness Week, survey highlights common misperceptions
regarding coverage for flooding




NORTHBROOK, Ill.,  March 21, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- As part of National Flood
Safety Awareness Week and in advance of the spring storm season, a survey
commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company shows Americans may not be as
familiar with their insurance policy as they should be, and therefore may have
misconceptions that they have flood coverage when they don't.

The survey of residents with homeowners and renters insurance from various
companies shows 44% of Americans believe they are covered for weather-related
floods. But when asked whether they actually have a flood insurance policy
through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), only 15% admit to having
specifically purchased a supplemental flood policy.  

"Results indicate that there is a knowledge gap among some Americans who believe
they are covered in the case of flood, but in actuality, are not covered," said 
Mark Green, senior vice president, Allstate. "Unfortunately, we have seen this
scenario play out following a number of major disasters. Some people believe
flood is part of their standard homeowner policy and sadly, don't realize they
need a separate flood policy until it's too late."  

Flood insurance is offered through the federal government's National Flood
Insurance Program and policies are sold and managed by private insurance
companies like Allstate.

Allstate reminds Americans that now is the time to prepare for floods and
consider their flood insurance needs. Floods are the #1 natural disaster in  the
United States. The average flood loss cost is  $30,000  for homeowners and 
$75,000  on commercial property according to the NFIP. Add to that the fact that
floods can happen anywhere and in all 50 states. Nearly 20% of flood claims come
from moderate to low-risk flood zones.  

Besides educating yourself on flood, Allstate recommends reading through your
insurance policy and if you have questions about coverage call an insurance
agent. Here are a few other things property owners can do to help prepare,
courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety:

* Keep drains, gutters and downspouts clear of debris.  
* Prepare an evacuation plan with a kit that includes insurance documents,
medications and critical items in case you need to leave your home for a few
days.   
* Inspect sump pumps and drains regularly to ensure proper operation.  
* Have a licensed electrician raise electric components at least 12 inches above
the expected flood levels for your area.  
* To prevent sewage backup, have a licensed plumber install an interior or
exterior backflow valve. Make sure your yard's grading (slope) directs water
away from the building.  
* Have the installation of your furnace, water heater and other permanent
equipment modified so that they are elevated above the expected flood levels for
your area.

The tips provided here are guidelines. Please use your best judgment when
evaluating your flood preparation needs. For more ways to prepare, respond and
recover from a flood, visit the  Insurance Institute for Business and Home
Safety  website.

National Flood Insurance Program policies can take up to 30 days to go into
effect. Contact your  local Allstate agency  to talk about your flood insurance
needs.

The study was based on telephone interviews with a nationally representative
sample of 1,000 residents with homeowners or renters insurance, age 18 years and
older across  the United States. Interviews were conducted  May 16-17  & 19,
2012, and the survey has a margin of error of +  3.1% at the 95% confidence
interval. The survey investigates Americans' attitudes, opinions and experiences
about how well prepared and covered they are in the case of a natural disaster
striking. The survey was conducted by FTI Consulting for Allstate.  

The Allstate Corporation  (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held
personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its
Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate
Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home,
life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies,
independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well
as via  www.allstate.com,  www.allstate.com/financial  and 1-800 Allstate, and
are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate." As
part of  Allstate's commitment  to strengthen local communities, The Allstate
Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided  $29
million  in 2012 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes
across  the United States.

SOURCE  Allstate Insurance Company


April Eaton, +1-847-402-5600

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