SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Saugatuck is urging residents to buy flood insurance before it is too late. 

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flooding, but the city signed up for the federal program that gives residents coverage.

“If you are living in the city of Saugatuck, Saugatuck Township or the city of Douglas, you qualify to participate in the flood insurance program,” said Saugatuck Planning and Zoning Administrator Cindy Osman.

The city applied to be a member of the Community Rating System program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which allows residents to get discounted flood insurance in areas that may not otherwise be covered. 

Saugatuck, along with other lake towns and cities, has experienced more flooding from rising water levels.  

Osman says the insurance doesn’t cover the erosion problems. But she added, “when water comes into your property, that’s what’s covered and I’ve seen a lot of it this year.”

One inch of water can cost thousands of dollars in repairs.

The cost of insurance with FEMA is around $400 a year. The insurance provides up to $250,000 for property damage and $100,000 for the contents of a home or business. 

“It’s easy to lose that much in a flood situation,” Osman said. 

Currently, only 30 out of 1,300 residents are taking advantage of this opportunity. 

“I’m surprised how many people don’t participate,” Osman said. 

Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. 

People can sign up by contacting Saugatuck’s planning department at 269.857.2603. More information can also be found online