Flood Insurance is Always a Good Idea

Please read the report from NPR of the recent flooding in Louisiana.

Danny and Alys Messenger canoe away from their flooded home in Prairieville, La., after reviewing the damage. As waters begin to recede in parts of Louisiana, some residents have struggled to return to flood-damaged homes on foot, in cars and by boat. Max Becherer/AP

From NPR

Even as thousands of residents of southern Louisiana are returning to their flood-damaged homes, more danger could lie ahead as rain continues to fall and the full extent of the damage can’t be known, according to state emergency response officials.

Preliminary casualty and damage reports are chilling. As we reported previously, 11 people are confirmed dead, 30,000 people were evacuated, and about 40,000 homes were damaged. And those are just preliminary numbers based on reports from 20 affected parishes, said Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

“We still have to go out with FEMA to get a comprehensive assessment of the damage,” said Steele. “It’s still early in this process.”

So far, about 70,000 people have applied for federal assistance, said Steele. And that number could climb, he said, with reports of more rain in some southeastern parishes. Steele said the opening of schools could be delayed for days.

In the most heavily damaged parish, Livingston, east of Baton Rouge, about 75 percent of the homes were destroyed, according to the Associated Press. That parish is home to about 138,000 people.

Almost 15,000 homes were flooded in nearby Ascension Parish, Richard Webre, director of that parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told the Los Angeles Times. That’s more than 30 percent of the housing units in that community of 114,000 people.

In a statement, Brad Kieserman, vice president for disaster services operations and logistics for the Red Cross, estimated the relief cost will be at least $30 million. “The current flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy,” said Kieserman.

President Obama declared the affected region a disaster area on Tuesday. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is scheduled to visit the region on Thursday.

Press release from NCCI regarding the pending Workers Compensation Rate Increase of 19.6%.

NCCI proposed that the rate increased rates will apply to all policies in effect on October 1, 2016. Additionally, NCCI proposes that the increased rates will apply to all policies in effect on October 1, 2016 on a pro rata basis through the remainder of the term of these policies (the equals a mid-term rate increase on all Workers Compensation polices). If the rate filing is approved as filed increasing the rates by 19.6% Florida would rank as the highest state in the Southeast.

The rate hearing was today and it will have to go through the approval process with the Office of Insurance Regulation. The Office of Insurance Regulation’s decision will be made in a few weeks.

The Office of Insurance Regulation does not have to approve the rate increase or apply the rate increase as presented.

See the full NCCI Press Release here

Assignment of Benefits

If you assign the benefits of your insurance policy to a contractor, you lose control of your claim and many other problematical issues may occur in resolving your claim. Please contact your insurance carrier prior to signing any document from a third party vendor if it references your insurance policy benefits! Once you sign it, it’s too late!

Please see this educational video that was produced by the Florida Association of Independent Agents.

Protect your company, protect your customers, protect your brand – buy Cyber Liability Coverage

Cyber hacks are on the rise and you must have a Cyber Liability policy to be protected.

The third party vendor Sacred Heart Health System uses for it billing Operations was hacked which compromised health information of about 14,000 patients according to this New Herald Article.

How does cyber liability work for customers in similar situation?

When there is a breach in data, company that had the breach must comply with state required remediation and notification of breached individuals and potentially offer credit monitoring.

Below is an outline of coverage that can respond on behalf of insured at the time of a cyber-breach of their business.

1. Provides Risk Management & Loss Prevention Program prior to a loss

2. Offers Third Party Liability for Network & Information Security, Communications and Media Liability and Regulatory Defense Expense

3. Offers Crisis Management Event Expense, Security Breach Remediation and Notification Expense and Computer Program and Electronic Restoring Expense

4. Offers coverage for Computer Fraud, Funds Transfer Fraud, and E Commerce Extortion

Don’t let hackers be an administrative burden to your business!

cyber-liability

Private Market Opens for people Adversely Effected by Biggert Waters Act

Blackwell Insurance COO Tina Blackwell was recently asked by the Panama City News Herald about the issue of flood insurance for Florida homeowners. Here is an excerpt from the published article.

South Florida homes aren’t the only ones seeing rate spikes. One local home’s flood insurance premium jumped from $3,300 to $26,000, said Tina Blackwell, chief operational officer at Blackwell Insurance in Panama City .

Blackwell said the soaring rate was an “extreme case” and the home was purchased after July 2012.

She said homes seeing the eye-popping rate increases were bought after July 2012, when Biggert-Waters was passed, and are in certain classification of flood zones.

“The increase happened at the renewal this year,” she said, after Biggert-Waters took effect Oct. 1.

The homeowner was not happy, but Blackwell said she searched the private insurance market and will secure a policy for less than than $13,000.

For years, the federally subsidized flood insurance market undercut private insurers, essentially pushing them out, but Blackwell said the skyrocketing premiums are generating more private options.

Blackwell said locals can avoid a flood insurance nightmare by knowing a home’s base flood elevation before buying or raising the foundation before building.

“That’s the best way people are going to be able to protect their assets,” she said.

Biggert – Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes already have occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some—but not all—policyholders over time. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.BW-12 Overview

Instructional Videos

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 Video
A video that describes the history and upcoming changes to the National Flood Insurance Program

SEE MORE VIDEOS AT THESE LINKS:

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: An Overview
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Elevation Ratings
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Addressing Flood Risk
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: What Is a Subsidized Rate?
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Moving Away from Subsidies
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Reducing Insurance Costs