Montana's new State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner is rancher Matt Rosendale, a man who has lots of personal experience with flooding.

"Our ranch is right on the Yellowstone River over by Glendive," Rosendale said. "Obviously it's been collecting water and ice for 600 miles before it gets to our place, and all that ice gets caught in a turn in the river and it can flood the surrounding area in a big hurry. Folks need to be aware of that and they themselves stay out of harms way, but to also protect their homes with flood insurance."

Rosendale said homeowners are mistaken if they think their hazard insurance covers flooding.

"It does not," he said. "Unless you have specifically invested in national flood insurance. They need to contact their current insurance agent to make sure they have invested in a flood insurance rider to make sure that you're covered. It is a separate policy."

Flood insurance policies typically do not take effect until 30 days after purchase, making advance planning critical for properties at risk of flooding.

Flood insurance is available in most parts of Montana through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, and private flood insurance plans may also be available.

For more information about flood insurance in Montana, visit the commissioner’s website at csimt.gov/your-insurance/flood or go to floodsmart.gov. The commissioner’s office can also be reached at (406) 444-2040 to answer questions.