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Melting Snow, Rain Could Flood Westport Homes

Those with spring fever might welcome warming temperatures and the sight of melting snow. Add spring showers into the mix, however, and you could have flooding, said Westport insurance agent Bo Netter .

"Unless the temperature rises to 80 degrees overnight and all this leftover snow melts at once, gradually melting snow won't cause you any problems," said Netter, who's worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years. "But rain on top of melting snow — that can easily cause a flood disaster."

During the winter the ground freezes, and until it thaws completely, water won't fully seep in. But ground that is thawed now is likely to be saturated from melting snow, meaning rain will have nowhere to go.

That's why Gov. Dan Malloy is urging homeowners to plan ahead and insure their property against potentially damaging floods. And if you're considering taking out federal flood insurance, know there is a 30-day waiting period from time of purchase before the policy goes into effect.

"Now is the time to call and ask about flood insurance," Netter said. "People often call before heavy rainfall, hoping to get instant coverage, but they don't realize there is a waiting period."

Here are some quick facts about flood insurance:

? You don't need to live near water to be flooded.

? Homes can be insured for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents.

? Renters can buy flood insurance for the contents of their home or apartment.

? There are coverage limitations for basements and crawl spaces.

? Flood insurance pays for covered flood losses even if a federal disaster is not declared.

If you don't think you need flood insurance because you don't live in a flood zone, think again. "I have flood insurance but don't live in a flood zone, and I've had water come into my basement," Netter said. "It wasn't a lot [of water] but if I wasn't home at the time, it probably would have been a disaster." If you want to talk to Netter, give her a call at (203) 341-9600.

Do you have flood insurance on your home?

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