Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flood advice, from finding insurance to flood defense and cleanup

We've set up a special web page with objective advice for people in flood-prone areas, or just curious about what it would cost to get flood coverage. (We're the state agency that regulates the insurance industry in Washington state; we do not sell insurance.)

The page includes information on a local area of concern, Washington's Green River Valley. But it also includes a lot of links to where to find flood coverage, myths and facts about flood coverage (myth 1 is that your homeowner's policy covers it. It doesn't.), and information about avoiding damage and what to do after a flood.

Also, we occasionally field queries from the public about where to find flood coverage. For most people, the first stop is the federal flood insurance program. This is run by FEMA, but sold locally by regular insurance agents and brokers. How to find out who sells it? Here's a handy online tool. Simply type in your zip code, and the website will instantly generate a list of local agents and brokers.

Insurance news: 1 in 5 lost health insurance in the past year

Reuters has a pretty startling story today, based on an analysis done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The upshot:
Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population -- or almost 60 million people -- went without health insurance at some point since January 2008, according to government estimates released Wednesday.