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HOMEOWNERS OFTEN NEGLECT TO BUY FLOOD INSURANCE — People who live in areas subject to flooding have about 26 times higher risk of being flooded than of having their homes burn. Nearly all of these people buy fire insurance. Yet many do not carry flood insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council. However, the number of flood insurance policies in force has increased about 23 percent since 1984 to 26 million policies as of March 1990, the Council, sponsored by the property-casualty insurance industry, reports.