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As hurricane season approaches, the vast majority of homeowners do not have adequate insurance protection in the event of a flood, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

“People tend to underestimate the risk of flooding,” Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president for the I.I.I. commented. “But, in fact, 90 percent of all natural disasters in this country involve flooding.”

The I.I.I. reported that less than 20 percent of U.S. homeowners have a flood insurance policy, and flood losses occur in over 80 percent of the natural disasters that stike the country.

Protection against flood damage caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes is typically excluded from a standard home insurance policy. Flood coverage can be obtained by homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program to offer protection against such events.

There is a 30-day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect after the policy is purchased. Therefore, it is important for homeowners to seek flood coverage far in advance of when hurricane or severe storm warnings hit.

Salvatore added that all homeowners should consider purchasing flood coverage, even if they do not live in a high risk flood zone. Salvatore noted that "low risk" does not equal "no risk."

Statistics show up to 30 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program’s paid losses were a result of damage caused in regions not noted as a high hazard area.