FEMA, NC Dept. of Insurance stress importance of having flood insurance

Updated: Jul. 25, 2019 at 5:14 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - During an official visit to Wrightsville Beach in June, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal Mike Causey urged people to buy flood insurance.

Causey's office is doubling down on that request with a series of insurance conferences throughout the state. The third of five conferences was held at Brunswick Community College from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday in the Odell Williamson Auditorium.

“There were only 143,000 flood policies throughout the state and I think there’s like 10 million households so it’s a very small percentage,” said Angela Hatchell, deputy commissioner for the agent services division of the NC Department of Insurance. “The commissioner likes to say, ‘If it rains at your house, you need flood insurance’ because we found in (hurricanes) Florence and Matthew that so many people who were not designated in a flood plain before now need flood insurance.”

Flood plain mapping, detailed explanations of what homeowners and renters policies cover, FEMA's role in disaster recovery and more was covered at the conference.

Department of Insurance Deputy Commissioner Michelle Osborne, flood insurance expert Charlotte Hicks and FEMA officials gave presentations to the crowd that included insurance agents and real estate agents.

FEMA representative Jerry Frye said around 700 people have attended the three conferences so far and he hopes the message to purchase flood insurance is being delivered.

While FEMA can help, Frye said it shouldn't be the primary source of protection against flood damage.

"If I've got $20,000 worth of content coverage on my house and I get a flood, then I really don't have to worry about too much," Frye said. "If I get $4,000 from FEMA in disaster assistance, which would I rather have, $20,000 or $4,000?"

For questions about flood insurance, including National Flood Insurance Program policies, click here.

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