As promised in our March 2013 blog titled Flood Insurance Talking Points, we’ve provided an outline of updates regarding the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. There is a Summary below of the NFIP October 2013 Premium Rate and Rule Changes.
In an effort to keep our communities as informed and prepared as possible we encourage everyone to review these updates thoroughly to determine if any changes involved may affect your property. Although some items are vague at this point, further updates will occur in coming months. Therefore it’s also important to stay tuned.
Our staff will be working with our clients regarding these changes. However, we are certainly open to inquiries at (203) 481-2684 from our community as well. We are always happy to help.
For a quote on Flood Insurance, click here and submit your inquiry.
The weeks and days prior to and following a storm like Irene are usually filled with so many questions and concerns about a variety of topics. Things like preparedness, the likelihood of being affected by damages, and specifics about insurance coverage are pretty key concerns.
We understand these questions and concerns and have always been committed to delivering as much information, advice, guidance, and support as possible before, during, and after an occurrence like Irene.
However, one topic that still seems to have common misunderstandings is flood insurance. We hope this blog will help to better explain these misunderstandings associated with flood. The most common are listed below.
With regard to who provides this type of coverage, it’s important to give a brief history about flood insurance…
Prior to 1968, the year that the National Flood Insurance Act was passed as a piece of legislation, damages from flooding were largely the responsibility of property owners. Insurance coverage for losses associated with flooding was not provided by any private insurance carrier.
However, in 1965 Hurricane Betsy, a category four hurricane, otherwise known as “Billion Dollar Betsy,” slammed the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. The storm brought with it flood surges that caused over a billion dollars in damages. Those devastated by the hurricane were left waiting for federal aid promised by the federal government after the hurricane had struck.
The death, destruction, and property damage caused by Betsy motivated the National Flood Insurance Act and then led to the creation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The National Flood Insurance Program is a program created by the Congress of the United States which enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection from the government against losses from flooding.
Although the National Flood Insurance Program has had amendments since then, flood insurance is and always has been a provision of the federal government. Insurers in the United States do not provide flood insurance. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Due to this fact, flood is a risk that private insurers are incapable of supporting.
However, with regard to how flood insurance is purchased, only licensed insurance agents can access flood insurance policies for consumers. An agent’s job is to educate consumer’s about flood insurance, process the paper work to access a flood policy, and help consumers to report claims. Nevertheless, flood guidelines and parameters are constructed by the government. In addition, underwriting (agreement to finance coverage) and decisions regarding approval of claims reported for coverage are made by the federal government.
It is important for property owners to understand… due to the fact that flood insurance cannot be provided by private insurance companies, only accessed by them, that protection from flooding is always excluded from standard property insurance policies. An additional point about accessing a flood policy that is important to understand, is that coverage does not begin immediately. Generally, coverage takes effect 30 days after the purchase of flood insurance. Only a few exceptions to this exist and can be explained by a licensed insurance agent.
Premiums vary depending on the amount of coverage you choose and the type of coverage you need. Depending upon what type of risk area the property is in also plays a part in this determination. However, the average flood insurance policy costs about $600.00 per year. The NFIP provides a website that can rate your risk, however these are only approximations. Only a licensed agent can rate your risk accurately and explain the parameters of coverage based on each individual circumstance.
Although these are the most common misunderstandings, and we hope that this explanation will help, we are always happy to answer any other questions associated with flood. We can always be reached at (203) 481-2684 or via website inquiry or even a by a visit to V.F McNeil Insurance, 500 East Main Street, Branford, CT. 06405.
Rainstorm after rainstorm, on my way to the agency, I pass by the neighborhood below me that often suffers from flooding during a heavy rain. At this point I have only one thought! I sure hope they all have flood insurance. One wouldn’t think that in a tiny, rural town like mine that anyone should have to worry about flooding.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Flooding can occur no matter where you live. In fact, all fifty states run the risk of flooding each year, especially during the threatening combination of a cold winter’s thaw and a heavy spring rainfall.
In the case of this particular neighborhood, many things are not in its favor. The first would be the little babbling brook running adjacent to the houses (below). It looks very quaint most of the time. Unfortunately, it’s not so quaint after a day or two of heavy rain when it rises above the bridge that goes over it in This is combined with the fact that the houses are in a low lying area (also prone to flooding) and they get run off from the neighborhood high above them. Often during a heavy rainfall, it looks a river running down this hill. Thankfully for me, I live in one of the homes in the neighborhood high above. However, it’s not so good for those down below. I couldn’t imagine the outcome of a hurricane or severe tropical storm. Two or three days of rain alone have turned this area into what resembles a small lake!
Unfortunately, it is still a common belief that flooding only occurs in certain areas of the country. Its dangers and consequences are often not taken seriously. Another unfortunate belief is that flood damage is covered under a basic homeowner’s policy. This is also not true.
It’s important for homeowners to be aware of the risks of a flood, how to be prepared for one, and how to recover after one. Please use the link provided to learn more about the risk of flooding in your area and what you could do to protect yourself. http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/flood.shtm