Few Homeowners Buy Insurance Despite Recent Major Floods

DESPITE horrendous flooding in 1993 in the Midwest and this summer's deluge in the Southeast, few Americans buy flood insurance.

``The message is starting to sink in, but we still have a long way to go,'' says Al Moore, principal coordinator of the flood-insurance program for Aetna Life and Casualty Company in Hartford, Conn. ``Government figures show that the number of flood policies in force this spring was only 5 percent higher than the number in force last spring.''

By April 1, 1993, there were 2,615,255 flood policies in force in the nation; one year later, the number had only risen to 2,760,808.

But in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, which were most affected by the Great Flood of 1993, the increase was significant: 55 percent, 48 percent, and 35 percent, respectively. Still, only about 10 percent of homes in those states at greatest risk from flooding have flood insurance.

According to government statistics, the number of National Flood Insurance Program policies written in the nine states affected by Midwestern floods had risen by 35 percent through the end of 1993 from 88,357 to 119,682.

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