Hurricane season starts June 1st each year. NOAA has already predicted it to be a busy hurricane season. However we have already seen our 2nd named storm in the Atlantic and it's not even hurricane season yet.

Are you Ready? written on the road

FEMA is already strapped with the Covid 19 response and the recent flooding event in Midland Michigan.

So being prepared has never been more important.

Tropical storm Bertha caused flooding in Miami over memorial day weekend before moving up the coast and making landfall in South Carolina on Wednesday May 27th.

Thankfully it's a tropical storm so high winds are not that much of a concern. However with so many storms the concern is rainfall. This storm has already caused coastal flooding in South Carolina.

The storm is predicted to move up into North Carolina and Virginia. It's predicted to slow down and cause flooding in the Appalachian mountains.

So what can you do to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season?

Having your flood insurance in place before hurricane season is very important. Most people inland usually don't take hurricane season seriously. However as years past has shown us inland flooding from hurricane season is a major threat and might be a higher concern than some of the coastal flooding.

When these storms hit the coast they are still moving at a decent speed but once they move inland they tend to stall out dumping lots of rain.

As hurricane season approaches in the next couple of days its important to understand a few things about flood insurance.

  1. Wait period

  2. Payment options

Most flood insurance has a wait period unless its for a loan closing. Let's look at the National Flood Insurance Program first. This program will have a 30 day wait period which means if you start on June 1st it really would not go into effect until June 3oth.

Now lets look at some of the wait periods in the private flood insurance market. The average wait period for private flood insurance usually ranges from 10-15 days unless its for a loan closing.

There are a few options with no wait period but it is extremely rare.

Now that you have an idea of the wait period what about paying for the flood policy?

When it comes to the National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance has to be paid in full for the year. This is also generally the case with private flood insurance policies as well. Every once in a while you will find a policy that can do quarterly payments but it's pretty rare.

Now that you understand what the wait periods and payment options are it's time to make sure you are prepared for hurricane season.

If you want to see what your flood insurance options are then click here.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance then make sure to check out our YouTube channel where we daily flood education videos. You can also check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property against flooding.

 

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Insurance can be confusing no matter what product you are talking about. Flood insurance might be one of the most confusing insurance products to understand. First of all outside of coastal areas it is hard to find insurance agents that truly understand it or are familiar with yet.

 

 

So should you go to the captive insurance agent or the independent insurance agent?

Top View of Boot on the trail with the text Whats Your Next Step?

Let's talk about how they are a little bit different. First of all there is the captive insurance agent. These are insurance agents that generally work for one company and are controlled by the options they allow. Most captive insurance agencies generally only offer coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. It is important to know some companies have started to allow some private flood insurance options but are still limited.

Now let's look at the independent insurance agent. This agent many times is referred to as an insurance broker. They generally do not work for one company but instead represent the customer. As a result they can provide more options.

It's important just because someone can offer more options does not mean its the right option. There is not a wrong answer here. Its always best to pick knowledge over options. You want to know if a claim occurs that you are properly covered or if a non renewal situation occurs the agent will be able to walk you through the process.

Let's look at one scenario where your flood insurance rate keeps going up. We recently had a client that had their flood insurance increase from $8000 to $16,000 over the course of five years. The customer had their policy with a captive agency but the agent could not explain why it kept increasing. Come to find out the property was a vacation home for the customer so they were rated in a different table by FEMA than a primary residence would have been. This also had higher rate increases than a traditional flood insurance policies.

The agent explained to the customer that there was only one option for flood insurance and that was through the National Flood Insurance Program.

What the customer and agent did not realize was their was an entirely separate private market for flood insurance. Some of these options did not penalize for the property being a vacation home and they looked at ratings different. The particular carrier the customer went with was a savings of $10,000 a year.

Great right?

Well there was a clause in the policy that said if a claim occurred then the policy could be non renewed making it more difficult to obtain insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

As you can see there are alot of different things to understand in these situations.

Being the insurance agent with all the options may not be the best option if they don't have the knowledge.

So whether you decide to go with a captive insurance agent or an independent insurance agent for your flood insurance, make sure to pick one you trust, that has the knowledge, and knows how to adapt to the constant flood insurance changing market.

If you want to learn more about picking the right policy you can check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or even check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation which means we can help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property against flooding.

 

Start My Flood Insurance Quote

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Its 2020 and everyone is using google for everything. Google knows more about us than we know about ourselves.

 

I remember sitting in a college e-commerce class when google first came out. NO one took it seriously, I know I didn't or I would have bought stock in it.

So what does google have to do with flood insurance?

As we mentioned google probably has more data than any other service out there.

Private flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program use different resources for determining flood insurance rates.

One of the benefits of private flood insurance is the advancement in technology they use in determining flood insurance rates.

While the National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA looks at a parcel many times they can not tell if a structure is elevated or not. So you may have a structure that sits 50 feet high but FEMA still thinks it is in the special flood hazard area. This is one reason why elevation certificates are required so many times.

So what is the private flood insurance approach to this? Private flood insurance uses many tools when mapping a risk. One thing they look at to determine the rating for a risk is location. Generally google earth is used to help determine this rate.

Google earth can be a great tool when locating a property. However if you have multiple structures on a property it may try to show the wrong structure. Let's look at an example of where this might happen. Imagine you have a lake house on Smith Lake in the Cullman or Jasper Alabama or maybe Lay Lake in Shelby, or Lake Logan Martin in the Pell City area. If you live on the lake you probably have a boat house as most lake home owners do.

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This could cause a major impact on your flood insurance if you are not careful. As the photo below shows this boat house is much closer to the water than the main house.

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So as you can imagine you will probably pay more for private flood insurance based on location.

So what exactly can you do to make sure this is accurate?

When getting a private flood insurance quote from The Flood Insurance Guru or any insurance agent ask for a picture of the map for accuracy. What you want to look at is where the red pin drop is at. It needs to be located on the structure that you will be insuring.

 

We recently saw where it was a difference of almost $1200 a year for the property owner.

As you can see you could be overcharged for flood insurance without even realizing it. Imagine if this error occurred for multiple years that could be a lot of money out of your pocket.

So can you get some of this premium back?

Maybe or maybe not

It depends on the private flood insurance company that you are dealing with, generally it can be difficult to get flood insurance refunds on prior policies.

So maybe you think you are being over charged or want to verify that your flood insurance is accurate then make sure to click here for us to verify it for you.

You can also visit our website or YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

 

Start My Flood Insurance Quote

 

 

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com