North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread is encouraging renters, homeowners, farmers and business owners to take advantage of the recently announced flood insurance renewal grace period extension.

To help serve its National Flood Insurance Program customers who may be experiencing financial hardship, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. This extension applies to NFIP flood insurance policies with an expiration date between Feb. 13-June 15, 2020.

“It’s clear that FEMA understands the sense of urgency and financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and they’re working to be proactive,” Godfread said. “This extension should give NFIP policyholders some peace of mind and allow them extra time to renew their policies ensuring they are covered should a flood loss occur.”

To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew policies. However, due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, FEMA recognizes that flood insurance policyholders may not meet the standard policy renewal deadline.

The NFIP is a federal program, managed by FEMA, responsible for providing flood insurance, improving floodplain management and developing maps of flood hazard zones. The NFIP allows property owners in participating communities to buy insurance to protect against flood losses. A homeowner can purchase excess flood insurance, but the homeowner must be covered by NFIP flood insurance first.

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For more information, consumers can contact their insurance agent, the NFIP (floodsmart.gov) at (877) 336-2627 or the North Dakota Insurance Department (insurance.nd.gov).