The number of flood insurance policies in the Fargo area dropped by 40 percent in the past year, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say.
FEMA flood insurance specialist Dave Kyner said it appears many people try to time their flood insurance purchase based on the spring flood forecast.
Significant flooding is expected this spring in the Red River Valley. A flood insurance policy must be in effect for 30 days before any water damage is covered, Kyner said, and that it appears people are gambling on flood risk.
"That's just a dangerous, dangerous thing to do. Especially as unpredictable as these flood events are," Kyner said. "There's a certain amount of gambling going on in that regard and the thing we've tried to emphasize is that people need to buy it just like they do their homeowner's and auto insurance."
Kyner said that there is a 26 percent greater chance of property being destroyed or damaged by flood than by fire.