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.

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

 

Many Affected Lack of Flood Coverage |Wall Street Journal Reports Damage caused by Sandy Flood

Many Affected by Lack of Flood Coverage!

Please find link attached which is an article from the Wall Street Journal reporting the devastation of hurricane Sandy and the driver of losses is caused by the Peril of Flood.   Many of those impacted by damage did not purchase a flood insurance policy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204712904578092743393773424.html

Over 30% of Flood Losses occur in non designated flood zones and flood is a separate insurance policy that must be purchased and renewed every year.

Be prepared – buy flood insurance!

When I am in a meeting and people ask what is the best risk management advice I can provide to a business or individual I tell them the following three things:

1.  The best risk management plan for natural disasters is to make sure that you have purchased FIRE, WIND &  FLOOD INSURANCE prior to a storm

2.  Take pictures and or video of your insured property inside and out

3.  Heed evacuation warnings

WSJ Insurance Article

Insurance Check | How to Prepare for the Storm!

1.  Get your insurance policies out so that you will have your policy number and the claims hot-line information ready if needed

2.  Take photos and or video of your property inside and out prior to storm and upload on line or e mail so that information can be easily sent to a claims adjuster

 

 

Hurricane Irene Flood Damage Devastates

Hurricane Irene Flood Damage Devastates

Floods are the most catastrophic property hazards in the United States.  Thirty to Forty percent of Flood Losses occur in non designated flood zones.  Flood insurance responds to wave wash or any type of rising water.  If Flood Insurance is not required by your commercial or personal lender you should still purchase flood insurance!  It is always a separate policy and the cost is as low as a few hundred dollars a year.

There is a thirty day wait on new flood insurance policies so make sure you are covered and buy your flood insurance today.  Don’t wait until after the storm!

The cost driver of the damage that was caused by hurricane Irene is Flood damage.

I think this article that was put out by Reuters is well written and provides some practical tips regarding coverage and claims procedures after the storm. Read it here.

As an independent insurance agency we are constantly engaged on behalf of our customers at the time of a loss.   We answer any questions our customers have and manage their expectations at the time of a loss as to what to expect during the claims process.   We also work as an advocate for our customers when there is a disagreement on the value of the property loss between the carrier’s adjustor and our customer.  Most of the time any disagreement is worked out quickly by providing missing information that is needed to an adjustor.

Here at Blackwell Insurance we have been providing insurance for the citizens of Florida since 1972 and understand the catastrophic exposure that our commercial businesses and residents face.

For a Flood Insurance quote please call us today at 850 769 2225.  A quote takes less than five minutes and can protect from a financially devastating loss.

Tina Blackwell, ARM, Blackwell Insurance