As Arkansas experiences historic flooding and damage, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns Arkansans to beware of flood insurance scam artists who will look to steal people’s money in the midst of the chaos.


As the most common natural disaster, flooding can strike at any time, and flood insurance is available to defray the costs of repair and property loss. Flood insurance, however, requires advance preparation and despite what scam artists may say, it cannot be purchased as a quick fix to on-going flood disasters.


“My heart aches for the many who have and will suffer losses as the Arkansas River continues to rise to record levels this week,” Rutledge said in a news release. “Scam artists see disaster as an opportunity to steal from those in need. Remember, there are insurance options to help Arkansans navigate future threats of flooding disasters, but consumers should be mindful of the limitations and requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program.”


Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers considering flood insurance as an option to protect their property:


• Flood insurance policies are not instantly effective and generally require 30 days before they become effective;


• Consult with an insurance agent to purchase a flood insurance policy, and beware of insurance agents that accept the filing of a claim before purchasing a policy;


• Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not include flood insurance, and flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy;


• Properties that have been flooded in the past may obtain flood insurance policies;


• The price of flood insurance may vary based upon the risk of flooding at the property location.


The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides answers to specific questions at https://www.floodsmart.gov/faqs.


Consumers who have additional questions about flood insurance should contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or 501-682-2007 or the Arkansas Insurance Department at 800-282-9134 or 501-371-2600.


Details: consumer@arkansasag.gov or ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.