Press Release, August 22, 2018- Commissioner Nickel Offers Insurance Tips in Response to Widespread Flooding

Last Updated: August 22, 2018

For more information contact: Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or

​Commissioner Nickel Offers Insurance Tips in Response to Widespread Flooding

Madison, WI—Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel expressed concern for Wisconsin citizens facing property damage from the heavy rains and flooding in Dane County earlier this week.

"The aftermath of flood damage will be stressful and challenging for those whose homes and businesses are affected," said Commissioner Nickel. "As you begin the cleanup, make sure to check your insurance coverage. Take photos and do not move or pick up anything until the insurance company claims adjuster is able to see the damage. Unfortunately, in some cases your insurance may not cover damage caused by a flood."

Governor Walker declared a State of Emergency in Dane County following the heavy rains and flooding that caused widespread damages to the area. Wisconsinites are encouraged to document the damage and reach out to their insurance companies. Dane County is requesting residents call 2-1-1 to report damage.

Commissioner Nickel suggests the following tips:

  • Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim.

  • Check your policy:

    • Most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding or seepage through the foundation. A separate flood insurance policy sold through the National Flood Insurance Program is necessary for this coverage.
    • Damages from sewer backup or sump pump overflow is not covered by standard homeowner's insurance or flood insurance. The purchase of a special endorsement for your homeowner's policy is required for this type of coverage.

    • Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged in a flood. But if you purchased a collision-only policy, you may not have coverage.

  • Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property.

    • Take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage as he investigates your claim.

    • Keep swatches of damaged material, such as carpeting, curtains, and furniture. For more information on completing a home inventory, visit

    • Do not throw out any damaged property without your claims adjuster's agreement. If local officials require you to dispose of damaged items for safety reasons before your claims adjuster's inspection, the photos you take of the damage will be extremely useful for your claim.

Commissioner Nickel reminds those dealing with flood damage that OCI and other state agencies are here to help. Numerous consumer publications are available on OCI's website for residents and small business owners, including Consumers Guide to Homeowner's Insurance and  the Personal Property Home Inventory Worksheet.

Contact OCI with questions or to file a complaint at You may also call OCI at 1-800-236-8517 or email

Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.