Consumers Reminded to Review Insurance Coverage As Part of Dam Safety Awareness Day

Media Contact:  Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2021

(LANSING, MICH) May 31 is National Dam Safety Awareness Day, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) are reminding consumers to review their flood risk and take steps to protect themselves and their properties. Michigan is surrounded by water, and the recent anniversary of the failures of the Edenville and Sanford Dams in Midland and Gladwin Counties underscores the importance of this national observance.

“Most homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies do not cover damage from a flood event or dam failure, so it is important to get the coverage you need in case of a disaster,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “There are more than 2,500 dams in the state of Michigan, and it is important that residents review their risk as we observe Dam Safety Awareness Day.”

Dams provide many benefits to Michiganders, including bringing water, power, flood control, recreation, and economic opportunities to communities. However, there can be risks associated with dams, especially if a failure occurs. Consumers can protect their homes and property in the event of a disaster through flood insurance offered by the federal government or private flood insurers.

Anyone who lives in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program can buy flood insurance, regardless of whether their home or property is in a high-risk zone. Michiganders should contact their insurance agent or company or visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more and get covered. The average premium for federal flood insurance in low- to moderate-risk zones in Michigan is $550/year.

“Michigan’s climate is changing, creating more intense precipitation events that can lead to high water and flooding impacts around the state,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark; EGLE includes the state’s Dam Safety Unit. “Whether you live in the shadow of a dam or along one of Michigan’s many lakes and rivers, it is always good to be prepared if faced with an emergency situation.”

Besides having flood insurance, it’s recommended that those living in flood plain areas have a personal emergency plan in place. Be aware of local emergency management programs, subscribe to any emergency notification systems that are available, assemble a home emergency supply kit, and have a plan in place so you and your family know what to do if faced with a flooding situation. To report dam safety emergencies to EGLE, call 800-292-4706.

Resources for residents to learn more about dam safety in Michigan, including a map of state-regulated dams, publications, and more, are available at Michigan.gov/DamSafety.

Anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance coverage can contact DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442 or by emailing DIFSInfo@michigan.gov.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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