Chris Greene

Chris Greene
President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation

Recent Posts

Your flood insurance quote just expired and now the rate is higher.

 

It would have been nice if someone told you this when getting the quote, right.

 

In this video, we look at how to help you solve this problem.

 

We look at the amount of time flood quotes are good for with different companies.

 

Watch this video and learn how to avoid paying more for flood insurance.

 

Buying flood insurance doesn't have to be complicated or confusing.  Our goal is to simply flood insurance and understand flood risks through education.

Flooding is the number 1 natural disaster in the United States. Today we are going to discuss 5 tips for buying flood insurance.  So the five things you need to know about are:

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance


Flood insurance policies are not all the same so it's important to ask the right questions.

1. Wait periods

Almost all flood insurance policies have some kind of wait period. There are different wait periods for each situation. Let's look at the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) first.

National Flood Insurance Program

There are three common wait periods with the National flood Insurance Program

  • Loan closings
  • New mapped policies
  • Standard wait periods

Let's look at loan closings first. Generally, if a property is requiring flood insurance for a loan closing this means that there is no waiting period. This means if a claim occurs a week after closing then you would have immediate coverage. It's important to know that in order for a claim to be paid out payment has to have been received.

Now let's look at newly mapped policies. These are properties that in the past were not required to have flood insurance but they are now because of flood map change. This is generally when a property is moved from a flood zone X to something like flood zone a or flood zone AE.

Watch the videos below to get an understanding of the different flood zones.

 

When it comes to newly mapped policies you are going to be looking at a 1 day wait period. So if the policy is set up today then it would be effective tomorrow. These types of policies had a larger financial benefit before the release of risk rating 2.0. This is because flood zones no longer determine flood insurance rates with the National Flood Insurance Program.

Now let's look at the standard wait period with the National Flood Insurance Program. The standard wait period is 30 days. So if we set up a policy today it won't be effective until 30 days from now. 

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

Now you remember when we discussed no waiting period with loan closings? Well, there could be an exception if payment is not received within a certain time frame. If you are an insurance agent or an insured then you have 10 days to make the payment. If you are a mortgage company then you have up to 29 days to get this payment in. 

 

So what happens if payment is not received within that time frame?

Then you would have a 30-day wait period kick in from the date the payment is received. This is important to remember when you are talking about flood coverage, flood claims, or possible flood damage.

Private Flood Insurance

Now let's take a look at private flood insurance when it comes to flood insurance wait periods. Private flood insurance works completely differently than the National Flood Insurance Program. While they also do no wait periods for loan closings their other wait periods might range from 1 day to 15 days.

Each insurance company has different guidelines for their wait periods.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

2. Deductibles

Flood insurance deductibles are completely different than homeowners insurance policy deductibles. On a home insurance policy, you may only have one deductible. However, a flood policy could have three different deductibles. 

These deductibles could have some impact on insurance costs as well. The higher the deductible the lower the insurance premium could be. Let's take a look at where these different deductibles could apply:

The coverages above are the three standard coverages on a flood insurance policy. It's important to know whether you have your flood insurance directly through the National Flood Insurance Program or with a Write Your Own Carrier that additional living expenses are not currently an option. Currently in 2022 additional living expenses are only offered by private insurance companies.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

When picking these deductibles you want to add all three together because there is a possibility you may have to pay three deductibles at one time. This is one thing many people do not think about so instead of maybe a $5000 deductible they really have a $15000 deductible.

Yikes!

3. Will the Bank Accept the Policy

Every day we see property owners take out a flood insurance policy and we see the bank deny it. So why would they deny the flood policy?

This could happen for a couple of reasons, some are due to coverage amount and type of policy. Recently, we saw a bank deny a policy for one of the craziest reasons too much coverage. Yes, you read that right too much coverage.

This property owner in Vestavia Alabama was told by their bank they would only accept a policy for the standard $250,000. This customer wanted to insure the property for replacement cost coverage but was told they could not.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

Generally, when we see this happen it's because there is not enough coverage on the policy or at FEMA's max residential coverage of $250,000.

Now let's look at the type of policy.

If you are doing an FHA loan then, generally, they will not accept private flood insurance. This is where we see a lot of property owners get in trouble. They get a couple of days before closing and are told that flood insurance is not acceptable because it is a private policy. They call their insurance agent to get it changed and the flood insurance premium goes from $800 to $4200.

Why is that? Well, insurance companies look at flood risk differently. So when looking at purchasing flood insurance you want to make sure you inform your insurance company of what type of loan you are doing.

If they tell you it doesn't matter, then you want to find an insurance company that understands loan types and flood insurance options.

 

4. Difference Between NFIP and Private Flood

When purchasing flood insurance you want to make sure whoever you are working with has access to private flood insurance and flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

There are a lot of differences between these two. Until risk rating 2.0 came out one of them was an elevation certificate might have been required. 

Some of the other differences are how flood zones are viewed. Flood zones have minimal impact on rates in many situations. Instead, a flood risk score and the actual flood risk are used with other factors to determine flood rates.

You can find your flood risk score by clicking here.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Pricing might be one of the leading differences. Over the last 10 years, private flood insurance has shown to be much less in high-risk flood areas and high-risk flood zones. One reason for the pricing difference was also building occupancy.

The National Flood Insurance Program charges a $250 surcharge if a property is not a primary residence while most private insurance companies do not.

5. Mid-Term Cancelations

Cancelations have become a major talking point with flood insurance. One reason is a few years ago FEMA stated they would allow mid-term cancelations and then changed the bulletins. 

Most property owners think flood insurance is just like homeowners insurance on this topic. While flood insurance companies are very strict on mid-term cancelations.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

There are about 28 different FEMA cancellations, but for this one, we are going to discuss the top 3 most popular reasons that will be approved for a policy to be canceled mid-term.

  • Flood map change
  • Property sold
  • Mortgage no longer requires insurance

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

Flood map changes are very common across the country they are constantly happening. When a property goes from a special flood area to a minimal flood area this qualifies for a flood map change. However, this does not mean that things like heavy rains won't cause flood water to enter your property.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

The next popular reason for a flood insurance policy to be canceled is if a property is sold. Generally, when this happens a signed cancelation letter and a closing settlement are required to get the flood policy canceled. The rule of thumb with most carriers to get a refund out is 30 days.

It's important to know that refunds could be different if it is a private flood insurance policy. You want to pay attention to if fees will be refunded or just the base premium.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

The last most popular cancelation reason is if a mortgage is paid off. if this happens you simply need to submit a signed cancelation letter and a letter from the bank showing they no longer require flood insurance.

5 Tips to Buying Flood Insurance

So these are the 5 tips to buying flood insurance. If these tips had been available when I was purchasing flood insurance then I may not have had the trouble I did. However, that might mean that we would not have been committed to flood education as we have for the last 10 years.

If you want to learn more about flood resources make sure to check out our learning center here.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

If you want to review the best flood insurance options then click below.

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Remember we are here to simplify purchasing flood insurance and understanding flood risks through education.

In this article, we want to talk about escrow billing nightmares from both the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Private Flood Insurance Program. We discuss what you need to know about escrow billing flood insurance. We discuss how flood insurance claims might be covered if payment has not been received.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

We want to focus on everything that you should know to ask as a mortgage lender, an insurance agent, and as a property owner.

You could also listen to our podcast below while you read.

 

Everything NFIP

The insurance company that falls under that federal side of flood insurance is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

As you know by now, even with the Risk Rating 2.0 update, you will still find about a maximum of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage for flood loss with the NFIP and FEMA. For commercial properties, the building coverage maxes out at $500,000.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

Paying with Mortgage

It's important to point out a few things you need to know when getting your federal flood policy signed especially if you're paying it out of a mortgage loan or escrow payment.

One of these things is that you won't really be getting a declarations page or the actual policy with the National Flood Insurance Program right away. As a result, the signed application can serve as your proof of coverage for up to 29 days.

What does this mean?

Simply put, your mortgage company has 29 days to make a payment for your flood policy's insurance premium before the 30-day wait period kicks in. Think of this as a form of grace period for your mortgage company to pay your flood insurance premiums.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

REMINDER: The 29 days will only be for the payment of the policy. There will still be a 30-day waiting period for the actual flood insurance policy to be available.

What if you missed this grace period for your mortgage company to pay your flood insurance?

Well, because of the NFIP's strict guidelines, coverage would not start for 30 days. You might get set back when it comes to both your building and personal property coverage if this payment wasn't made in time because once payment is received after the 30th day is when the 30-day waiting period starts.

Paying Directly as an Agent or Insured

Now, when paying as an insurance agent or maybe you want to pay it out of your own pocket as a property owner, you will only get a 10-day period to pay your policy. The same thing goes, if you miss this 10-day period, your coverage will not start for 30 days.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

What If a Claim Occurs?

Let's keep it simple, so long as you made your payment before a claim occurs, you will get the respective coverage written in your flood insurance policy.

Equally, this means that if your mortgage company missed the 29-day payment period, then you will not get any of the coverage you have with your policy until the payment is made.

It is only AFTER payment is made will you be able to get coverage for your flood insurance claims.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

Everything Private Flood

So you might be wondering, what about the private flood insurance carriers? Where do they stand on this topic?

Well, it's important to note that just like their flood insurance coverage, payment terms when it comes to escrow billing or escrow account may vary from one private insurance company to another.

This may mean that you will be able to get only 10 days to make a payment up to 15 days. This is regardless if you're paying through a mortgage, an insurance agent, or out of your pocket.

Again, this really depends on the private insurance carrier that you applied with, so it's important to really know the guidelines that your private flood carrier has when it comes to these types of concerns.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

What if a Claim Occurs?

Private flood insurance has different standards and guidelines when it comes to payment and flood policies. So you might be shocked to know that some private flood insurance companies will outright reject or deny a claim if it's made before payment is made.

Yes, that means that you won't get any of the coverage with your policy if there was no payment before the flood claim was filed. This is why we highly recommend that you pay your flood insurance premium upfront, as hard as it may be, to avoid this type of situation.

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

As an insurance agent, it's important to know which carrier has these guidelines or simply know the guidelines of the carrier that your client is going for. This really helps you, as an agent, avoid E&O Claims since you get to inform your client everything about their flood insurance carrier.

Flood Insurance: Escrow Billing Nightmares

In our experience, we've had many clients file flood claims two weeks and even two days after closing. Thankfully, they get coverage for the flood loss because they were able to get the payment made before these claims.

If you want to know more about the differences between the NFIP and Private Flood Insurance, watch our video below:

So if you need assistance with these payment guidelines for your flood insurance, so you can make sure that you have coverage on your property, understand flood risks, or anything about flood insurance, click below to reach us.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

We want to simplify flood insurance, so you can get a better understanding of flood risk, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term through education.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

 

 

The private flood insurance market is getting a huge paradigm shift in the next month. Assurant, Inc. reported that starting May 1st, they will no longer offer private primary flood insurance for residential properties.

Let's talk about this change, its impacts on more than 1000 policyholders, and what you can do to adapt to this change.

             Assurant Flood Insurance

Recently, we received important information regarding private primary flood insurance policies and one of the leading insurance options, Assurant Incorporated.

According to the carrier, they will discontinue providing primary flood insurance for new business policies starting on May 1st, 2022. This will impact all residential flood insurance across the country and will be experiencing this change.

Now, an important note here is if you have an active policy, you will be able to get coverage from it until it expires. However, people who are looking to buy residential flood insurance (called "new business") won't be able to get a policy from Assurant Inc for primary private flood insurance.

There will also be no renewals after July 1st, 2022. This is what we call a nonrenewal of flood insurance. Although the reasons for this change are something yet that we will have to find out, these changes are happening on the dates mentioned.

Keep in mind that this won't be impacting private commercial flood insurance, NFIP policies, and excess flood insurance with Assurant. This change is directly impacting only primary residential flood policies with the carrier.

What Happens Next?

All policyholders and agents will receive a non-renewal notice between 60 to 83 days from renewal or the expiration date of your current policy. This notice is expected to arrive via mail and servers as a heads up for you.

It's important to mention however that during this period, Assurant Inc. won't be leaving without any help. One of the great things about flood insurance the carrier is that they don't leave you behind. Once the nonrenewal mail is sent, Assurant will also provide a federal flood insurance or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) quotes will be provided via email to those who are impacted by this.

This is simply to ensure that you will have someplace to fall back on once that nonrenewal kicks in. It's important to note however that even if you accept this quote, you will still need to follow the 30-day waiting period from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP.

If you want to see the list of the policies that are nonrenewing, you will have to contact an Assurant representative or coordinate with your insurance agent in doing so.

Now, let's talk about your options from both the federal government and other private insurance companies to adapt to this change.

Federal Flood Insurance

One of the key takeaways we got from this notice is that Assurant will be providing an NFIP policy if you have a residential property impacted by this nonrenewal.

It's important to mention here certain terms that you need to expect when moving from a private flood insurance policy to an NFIP one.

The NFIP policy, as mentioned before, will have to follow the 30-day waiting period as part of the term when purchasing flood insurance from the federal government. Despite Assurant's endorsement of your policy to be moved to the NFIP, this waiting period will still kick in.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently completely moved into the Risk Rating 2.0. The Risk Rating 2.0 will still follow the standard flood insurance coverage that you normally get with the NFIP's residential policies. This simply means that you will only get up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for content coverage.

This also means that your policy will be rated according to FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 method which removes the flood zone as a basis for rates to acknowledge more on your property's flood data such as the history of flood damage, flood claims variable, type of floods that the property experiences, frequency of flooding, first-floor height, foundation type, and construction. This could very well mean that your flood policy will find a significant increase as we've seen with Risk Rating 2.0's impact across the country.

So these are some things that are going to really significantly change when it comes to your flood insurance especially when it comes to your rates. 

 One Private Insurer to Another

Now, it's important to also mention here that you can also go to another private insurance company, especially if the coverages that the NFIP is offering are not really enough. We do encourage that you get at least 80% of your property covered by flood insurance.

 

You can get a quote from your flood insurance agent from other private carriers. Again, it's essential to always set your expectations right. If you have a relatively cheap flood insurance premium with Assurant, it helps to set an expectation that this may not be the same.

Going through a private carrier means that there will be different flood coverage limits. This means that you won't really max out your coverage for building and personal property at $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Most private carriers also have an established system that determines your rate based on the risk of flooding that your property may have.

It's important to note however that depending on your loan type on your house, private flood insurance might not be available for you.

 

If you want to learn more about flooding and flood insurance visit our learning center below.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

 

 Want to discover what flood insurance options are available to you? Click below

Get Flood Insurance Options

 

 

The private flood insurance market is getting a huge paradigm shift in the next month. Assurant, Inc. reported that starting May 1st, they will no longer offer private primary flood insurance for residential properties.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Let's talk about this change, its impacts on more than 1000 policyholders, and what you can do to adapt to this change.

Assurant Flood Insurance

Recently, we received important information regarding private primary flood insurance policies and one of the leading insurance options, Assurant Incorporated.

According to the carrier, they will discontinue providing primary flood insurance for new business policies starting on May 1st, 2022. This will impact all residential flood insurance across the country and will be experiencing this change.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Now, an important note here is if you have an active policy, you will be able to get coverage from it until it expires. However, people who are looking to buy residential flood insurance (called "new business") won't be able to get a policy from Assurant Inc. for primary private flood insurance.

There will also be no renewals after July 1st, 2022. This is what we call a nonrenewal of flood insurance. Although the reasons for this change are something yet that we will have to find out, these changes are happening on the dates mentioned.

Keep in mind that this won't be impacting private commercial flood insurance, NFIP policies, and excess flood insurance with Assurant. This change is directly impacting only primary residential flood policies with the carrier.

What Happens

All policyholders and agents will receive a non-renewal notice between 83 to 60 days from renewal or the expiration date of your current policy. This notice is expected to arrive via mail and serves as a heads up for you.

It's important to mention however that during this period, Assurant Inc. won't be leaving without any help. One of the great things about flood insurance the carrier is that they don't leave you behind.

Once the nonrenewal mail is sent, Assurant will also send a federal flood insurance or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) quotes will be provided via email to those who are impacted by this.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

This is simply to ensure that you will have someplace to fall back on once that nonrenewal kicks in. It's important to note however that even if you accept this quote, you will still need to follow the 30-day waiting period from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP.

If you want to see the list of the policies that are nonrenewing, you will have to contact an Assurant representative or coordinate with your insurance agent in doing so.

Now, let's talk about your options from both the federal government and other private insurance companies to adapt to this change.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Federal Flood Insurance

One of the key takeaways we got from this notice is that Assurant will be providing an NFIP policy if you have a residential property impacted by this nonrenewal.

It's important to mention here certain terms that you need to expect when moving from a private flood insurance policy to an NFIP one.

The NFIP policy, as mentioned before, will have to follow the 30-day waiting period as part of the term when purchasing flood insurance from the federal government. Despite Assurant's endorsement of your policy to be moved to the NFIP, this waiting period will still kick in.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently completely moved into the Risk Rating 2.0. The Risk Rating 2.0 will still follow the standard flood insurance coverage that you normally get with the NFIP's residential policies. This simply means that you will only get up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for content coverage.

This also means that your policy will be rated according to FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 method which removes the flood zone as a basis for rates to acknowledge more on your property's flood data such as the history of flood damage, flood claims variable, type of floods that the property experiences, frequency of flooding, first-floor height, foundation type, and construction. This could very well mean that your flood policy will find a significant increase as we've seen with Risk Rating 2.0's impact across the country.

So these are some things that are going to really significantly change when it comes to your flood insurance especially when it comes to your rates. 

From One Private Insurer to Another

Now, it's important to also mention here that you can also go to another private insurance company, especially if the coverages that the NFIP is offering are not really enough. We do encourage that you get at least 80% of your property covered by flood insurance.

You can get a quote from your flood insurance agent from other private carriers. Again, it's essential to always set your expectations right. If you have a relatively cheap flood insurance premium with Assurant, it helps to set an expectation that this may not be the same.

Going through a private carrier means that there will be no flood coverage limits. This means that you won't really max out your coverage for building and personal property at $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Most private carriers also have an established system that determines your rate based on the risk of flooding that your property may have.

It's important to note however that depending on your loan type on your house, private flood insurance might not be available for you.

If you want to know your flood insurance options, click below to call us.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

When it comes to these situations, policyholders should always expect changes to their flood insurance. Just like the behavior of flooding drastically changes, so will flood insurance policies too.

So, if you've got any questions related to flood insurance, your flood insurance options, or how to manage your flood policy best, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

We recently recognized the award winners for best private commercial flood companies in 2022. Now it's time to look at the residential side. We are going to look at some similar factors in determining the winners.

Let's define residential private flood insurance real quick. When we discuss residential private flood insurance we are generally talking about single-family homes and individual condo units.

There was a time when the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was the only option for flood insurance. However, Private Flood Insurance has started to change this market over the last 20 years. The FDIC ruling in 2019 about private flood insurance being accepted has helped push this movement forward.

So now let's get into how this award was determined and the winners.

We reviewed more than 25 different companies. Here are the factors that we used in determining the winners:

  • Coverage limits
  • Availability to property owners
  • Properties with previous claims
  • Long-term rate stability
  • Ease of use
  • Claims experience

So let's look at the winners in no specific order. Neptune Flood, Sterling Underwriters, and The Flood Insurance Agency

Neptune Flood

Since its creation in 2016  Neptune flood has become popular extremely quickly for many reasons. One reason is the way they use technology. You could go get a quote on their platform in less than 2 minutes.

I bet you think that's great but will I get the coverages I need?

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

      Coverage Limits

Neptune system can offer to cover up to $4 million on residential buildings in many situations. Unlike the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), they can also offer replacements costs on contents coverage. Also unlike the NFIP, they offer additional living expenses.

One of the great benefits of Neptune Flood is they can over basement content coverages in many situations. This has historically been a struggle with getting a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.

       Access

What about access to property owners? The great news is you can access Neptune flood through a traditional insurance agent or directly through the Neptune website. The availability of getting flood insurance has become a big discussion over the last couple of years and Neptune currently offers coverage across the United States.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Previous Claims

There is this myth in the private flood insurance industry that private companies will not insure a property that has had previous losses. Not sure where this crazy idea came from but it simply isn't true. Generally, Neptune Flood can insure a property if it has had one claim under $25,000. 

       Claims Experience

We have been helping file flood claims with Neptune flood since 2018. In almost every situation we have seen a quicker payout and response than the NFIP.

We have continued to see this be consistent during the New York flood of 2021, multiple flood events in Alabama from 2018 to 2022, the Nashville flooding in 2021, and the North Georgia flooding in 2021.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

So now let's move on to the next winner, Sterling Underwriters

Sterling Underwriters

Sterling Underwriters is a unique flood company to work with because of their response time. Over the last four years, they have shown one of the quickest response times on flood questions.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Coverages

Like other private flood insurance companies, they also offer coverages that exceed the $250,000 that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers. They also offer additional living expenses like many of the private flood insurance companies.

       Availability

To get access to Sterling Underwriters, you do have to access them through an insurance agent. Where Sterling separates itself is with its online quoting platform. While this program does have to be accessed by an insurance agent that agent can typically have an option in less than 5 minutes.

Sterling offers coverage throughout the United States. One thing that it offers that other private flood insurance companies do not offer is coverage in CBRA.

There are very few companies that offer coverage in these protected areas. The National Flood Insurance Program does not offer coverage in these areas if a structure was built or improved after 1982. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Rate Stability

In dealing with Sterling Underwriters for the last four years we have seen extremely stable rates. Does this mean your rate will not go up? No, but it does mean their rates seem to be more stable than the industry average. It's always important to work with a company that can create what we call long-term rate stability this means they are analyzing the risk properly which creates a consistent premium for more than 12 months. 

       Claims Experience

Like many private companies, Sterling Underwriters will consider a property with a flood loss. We have seen great claims experience from Sterling Underwriters. The response time has been accurate and so has the payout. One thing we have also seen from them that we haven't seen from many private flood insurance companies is to continue to insure a property after a claim.

It has become known in the insurance industry that after a flood insurance claim you can expect a nonrenewal letter from the private flood insurance company. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

However, this has not been the case in many situations with Sterling Underwriters. In fact, after the recent flooding in Pelham Alabama, we expected all these policies to be non-renewed because of claims and that did not happen. 

Now let's discuss the last winner on the list and that is The Flood Insurance Agency.

The Flood Insurance Agency

The Flood Insurance Agency is based in Gainsville Florida and is associated with Lexington Insurance a member of AIG. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Coverage Limits

Like the other companies on this list, The Flood Insurance Agency offers coverages over the standard $250,000. They also offer excess coverage on top of the National Flood Insurance Program. They can also offer contents coverage that exceeds the limits the National Flood Insurance Program offers. 

Availability

The Flood Insurance Agency offers coverage throughout the United States. You can either access it through their website or through a licensed insurance agent. Like some of the other carriers, you can usually get a rate indication within 5 minutes and can normally have a policy within a copy of hours once a signed application has been submitted.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

Previous Claims

The Flood Insurance Agency seems to have the most flexibility on claims we have seen. Does this mean they will insure a property with 5 claims?  No, it means they look at the full story of how a claim occurred and how the risk might have been reduced after the loss.

Rate Stability

One of the greatest benefits of The Flood Insurance Agency is its rate lock program. We have seen property owners long in rates over a 3 year period. This goes a long way in providing long-term rate stability. In many situations, you can lock in 1, 2, or 3 years if you would like.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

Each one of these companies brings something unique to the residential private flood insurance market. This is why they are our award winners for the best private residential flood insurance company in 2022.

If you want to learn more about how to reduce the chances of your property flooding or understand your flood insurance options then contact us below.

Contact Us

You can also further educate yourself by visiting our flood education learning center.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Commercial flood insurance has changed a lot in the last 10 years. It has changed even more with the development of private flood insurance over the last 10 years and changing flood risk.

In this article, we are going to look at the flood education award winners for best commercial flood insurance in 2022. In no particular order, let's give some love to the companies that have been helping property owners across the country get back from life-threatening flood damage.

Commercial Flood Insurance

Flood insurance has been around for a long time now. At this point, changes are to be expected since floods' behavior also changes throughout time. It would be difficult to imagine a universe where flood insurance doesn't exist. Can you imagine how many businesses go bankrupt over flood loss?

It's important to also note that business insurance won't generally cover flood damage to a property which further highlights why a good commercial private flood insurance company can help in making things easier.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

This brought us to give recognition to the unflinching support that private flood insurance companies provide agencies like us and property owners. It's no easy feat to be able to hit all the right spots with relative ease and having that smooth transaction from buying flood insurance to filing a flood claim is important.

For this awarding ceremony, we were able to determine the best private flood insurance companies when it comes to commercial flood insurance. We just have to give some love and care to our businesses across the country who have been pushing through disasters like floods, pandemics, and now increasing inflation due to the recent crisis across the sea.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

You may ask how did we come up with the qualifying factors for this award? We are basing this list on 4 factors

  • Coverage limits
  • Ease of use for insurance agents
  • Long-term rate stability in the commercial flood insurance market 
  • Claims experience.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

It's important to understand that some of these companies will be referred to as managing general agencies which means if you're a commercial property owner you may have to access them through an insurance agent.

Which makes it all the while easier to manage your flood insurance and that's something that we understand commercial property owners need.

Between managing your commercial property, your business, and flood insurance, 24 hours can only go so far. These insurers help people like you still find time to relax especially during a flood event so that your head won't be plagued with asking "How can I come back from all the flood damage?"

So let's start with the list we will go in alphabetical order. The company that makes the list first is Argenia or the CRC group.

Argenia CRC Group

This particular company is a cover holder for reinsurers. What is a cover holder?

This means you can access certain flood markets through them that you may not be able to access through other companies. Argenia simply is opening the doorway and guiding you through different markets when it comes to your flood insurance.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

Their product seems to be very strong if you are looking for building coverage up to $5 million, business inventory coverage, and business loss of use. This can really be helpful for a lot of business owners since you won't be worrying about how to keep your business going after a flood.

From what we have seen claims have also been handled well with them. Like that trending song, Argenia is one of the companies that make you say "smooth like butter" from the cost of flood insurance to getting flood claims in place.

We saw firsthand how claims were handled with them during the Birmingham Alabama 2021 flooding, the 2021 Nashville flooding, and the 2021 New York flooding.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

Claims were paid out accurately based on the coverage amounts on the policies. The commercial pricing with CRC group also seems to be very consistent over the last 3 years. We have seen very few large increases when it comes to rates for policies renewing.

It's no surprise that most commercial property owners are quick to renew a policy with Argenia and the CRC group.

National Catastrophe Insurance Program

The next company we want to look at is The National Catastrophe Insurance Program (NCIP). The company also goes by CAT Coverage, hopefully, this explains their placement in this blog.

This particular company is one of the largest flood managing general agencies in the country. Like the other company, they seem to have a very strong product if you are looking for coverages of $5 million or less.

Their product offers business inventory and loss of use. It's important to know they also offer earthquake and landslide insurance as well.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

One of the benefits of the NCIP (sometimes even called CAT Coverage) is you can list multiple commercial buildings on one policy. This can be very beneficial for property managers who manage many properties or has some form of a franchise.

It can also be very beneficial from a fee standpoint. Usually, when you set up a commercial private flood insurance policy there are policy fees, so having one policy can reduce these fees.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

So what about claims? Well, we have been helping file claims with the NCIP for more than 4 years and the over claims experience has been great. In fact, in many situations they had claims settled before people with a National Flood Insurance Program policy did.

What about long-term rate stability? We have seen very stable commercial flood insurance rates with NCIP. This may be close to being guaranteed every time and for all policies. One reason we believe this is the case is that they have multiple relationships with different reinsurers.

Dual Commercial

Dual Commercial is another private flood insurance managing general agent.

Their name gives it away a little bit that commercial flood insurance is their specialty. In many situations, you can get $5 million in building coverage on their online platform.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

You generally have to access their product through an insurance broker or wholesaler. If you need something higher than $10 million or $20 million you can work with the flood underwriting team to get this type of coverage.

Their rates seem to be very stable over the last 5 years in the commercial flood insurance space. This simply means that you won't be seeing any significant increase upon renewal.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

One of the great benefits of Dual commercial is their ability to provide loss of use on their flood insurance policies. In most situations, this does carry a separate waiting period and deductible but they seem to be able to offer a lot higher amounts.

Loss of use is really helpful with a commercial property since any loss of income or money that you might be earning during the time that your property's being repaired will be covered by your flood insurance policy.

ReThought

ReThought might be one of the last companies we discuss, but they are leading the industry in innovation.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

The way they look at flood risk is different from many companies. In many situations, they look at how a property has been mitigated in determining the pricing of risk. They understand that if a property has flooded that the risk could still be lower after flood mitigation efforts have been done.

ReThought offers some unique flood insurance coverages in excess of $5 million. They also have some different offerings when it comes to loss of use coverage.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

There were many companies that could have been chosen for this award but these companies were chosen because of the 4 factors that were looked at.

While other carriers may have had cheaper rates in many situations they could not provide the higher value coverages that business owners needed or their long-term pricing was not as stable.

If you want to learn more about how to lower the chances of your property flooding or what flood insurance options are available in your area then click here.

You can also visit our flood learning center by clicking below

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Remember we have an education background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood risks, and your flood insurance options, and mitigate your property from flooding.

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So you want to buy a flood insurance policy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Well, you won't have to worry about how to get a policy directly from FEMA because there is the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program?

In this article, we talk about everything you need to know about WYO policies and why the Write-Your-Own Policy helps make the process of getting flood insurance coverage from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) easier.

Write-Your-Own Policy

When looking at flood insurance options, you'd be remiss to think that the NFIP and Private Flood Insurance are two separate worlds that can never meet.

This is far from the truth as FEMA and the NFIP actually built a cooperative in 1983 as a form of partnership with the private flood insurance industry. This is called the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

This created a system wherein you don't need to bother and go through all the hassle of getting a flood policy from FEMA.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program helps you find an alternative way to process your NFIP policy through other insurance companies. At the time of writing, FEMA reports that there are at least 50 participating insurers or carriers.

If you want to see what insurance companies are participating in the WYO program, CLICK HERE to go to FEMA's official list.

What's The Difference?

Now, you might be starting to wonder: what's the difference then?

When it comes to the Write-Your-Own, it basically allows other insurance companies outside of FEMA and the NFIP to provide insurance support for operations and everything needed to write an NFIP policy. This makes it easier and quicker to understand your flood risks, especially with the updated Risk Rating 2.0.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

The insurance companies participating in the WYO are allowed to both process the writing of your flood policy, managing of the documents, and use their resource to help you get your flood insurance easier.

The same also applies when you file a flood claim where you will see the participating company to help you get your flood insurance claim get processed.

It's important to note, however, that policies that are written under the WYO still follow FEMA and NFIP's coverage and rates. This should be your heads up especially considering that all federal flood insurance policies are now officially following the new Risk Rating 2.0 program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, this means that you will still see a $250,000 limit for building coverage for residential properties or up to $500,000 max for commercial properties with a $100,000 contents coverage.

Getting a WYO policy also means that floodplain management regulations (i.e. flood insurance rate map) set by the federal government will be strictly in place and participating companies are expected to follow it.

Want To Learn More?

If you want to know more about the benefits and differences between the Write-Your-Own Program and NFIP Direct, listen to our podcast below or read our blog post on Write-Your-Own and NFIP Direct:

 

If you still have questions on flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center. You could also contact us so we can discuss your flood insurance needs.

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The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

As the U.S. moves out of the moist cold winter weather, the risk of flooding also presents itself. Most can expect to see spring runoff and snowmelt, but fires?

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

Let's talk about the recent brush fire in Hoover, Alabama, and how this can impact both flooding and flood insurance in Hoover and its neighboring counties.

Not an April Fool's Joke

The typical quiet Wednesday night (March 30) for most people was disturbed by a brush fire in Hoover, a city in Jefferson County, and Shelby County in Alabama. The brush fire was reported to be driven by strong winds and began just before 7:00 PM.

The brush fire was enough to displace at least 26 units in City Heights apartments on Alpine Village Drive. The impact, although not direct, was substantial thermal damage that presented a lot of risks for the residents.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in AlabamaHoover Brush Fire as recorded by a resident, Joshua Johnson (from: abc3340.com)

We're talking about at least two dozen families needing to get away from their property. At least two people were treated for smoke inhalation. The good news is that the fire was extinguished completely by 8:40 PM and there wasn't a single death during the fire.

Now, you might be wondering how this and floods can be related? That's understandable since we're talking about literal fire and water here. Let's unpack that question for you.

Floods and Fires

Despite being the polar opposite element of flooding, fire can have a great contribution to flooding in an area. In this case, Hoover might also be facing increased flood risks due to the recent brush fire.

Wildfires like this can damage the soil and vegetation which naturally helps mitigate the severity of a flood event.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

The soil absorbs all that rainwater during heavy rain reducing the excess water flowing into an area. The vegetation also does the same thing while supporting and holding the soil under them reducing mudflows and landslides.

However, when a fire like this happens, both of those things will face significant damage. As the heat dries out the soil, it won't be able to take in water and all that charred remains will add to the floodwater. There will also be a lot of debris flow due to the burnt flora. We've seen this flood threat before in California.

What It Means for Flood Insurance

One of the things that came out of the recent flood insurance update on the federal side with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the Risk Rating 2.0 and how it perceives flood threats.

The new Risk Rating 2.0 will be assessing a lot of flood variables when it comes to determining the premium rate for your property.

For Hoover residents, this type of event can add to the amount of flooding and flood type variables. Instead of just expecting potential flooding due to runoff or rising of bodies of water like Parker Lake and Cahaba River, property owners in Hoover will also be assessed for possible flash flooding and mudflow caused by this brush fire.

This could badly hurt your flood insurance premiums with the Risk Rating 2.0 especially once your renewal kicks in.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

— Good thing I'm doing a private flood insurance policy, right?

Although Private Flood generally has cheaper premium rates, private insurance companies were first to assess a property's flood risk by looking at its flood data and not just the flood zone alone. This may still present a shift in your Hoover home's flood risk hence flood insurance rates.

Better Than No Flood Insurance

At the end of the day, it's best to still secure that flood insurance since we can't really tell how Hoover would respond to flooding in the next few weeks. We're looking at spring runoff, snowmelt, heavy rainfall, and now, fire scars of this as flood risks in Hoover.

If you need flood insurance, Alabama has been opened to more options due to increased risks from previous years. This way, you can get your flood insurance through either the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP or through multiple private flood insurance companies.

If you want to know how they are different, watch the video below:

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks like brush fires, your flood insurance, and how to best protect the value of your property long-term.

If you've got questions, click the link below to go to our Flood Learning Center:

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You can also use this link below to call us:

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Be safe out there, Alabama.

As the whole country moves out of the winter season, saying goodbye to all that snow might not be quick after all. One of the secrets of this transition from the snow-filled streets to blooming trees is the threat of flooding.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Today, we want to talk about snowmelt, how it impacts flooding, and how flood insurance helps in protecting yourself from snow.

Spring Floods in 2022

Farewell to our cool friends from the month of December (see what we did there?) and hello to a warmer climate. For some this is a breath of fresh air since, let's be honest, the winter season had its fair share of annoyances like slippery pavements and the need to constantly shovel snow for areas that experience a lot of snow like the midwest region.

However, this shift might be presenting a bigger concern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the warmer climate also presents the possibility of drought and spring floods across the West, Midwest, and Southeast.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Why are NOAA and other National Weather Service (NWS) are worrying? We got a lot of moisture from winter, Chris.

This is exactly the case when you start to look into flooding. As we move into the warmest season of the year, Summer, it's important to note that all that ice and snow will start to melt.

When you have oversaturated soil, it only takes a small rainfall to transform these into water.

Lookout! Spring Floods in 2022

NOAA considers a lot of factors other than snowmelt when it comes to what's called the spring flood that we may see in May. These things include drought, the current status of snowpacks, saturation levels, frost depth, and streamflow.

These things separated don't really cause floods, but they are ingredients to the worst cocktail you might experience. However, it's important to note that flood threats don't just pertain to that overflow of water from rivers, lakes, or creeks. We all know by now that even consistent rainfall can create damaging floodwaters.

We've actually seen this happen last year in the state of Colorado. You can read our blog on it by clicking here (Snowstorm in the Centennial State: Impacts of the May Spring Runoff).

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Considering that there was very late precipitation in fall and winter, the ground that we have during the first months of Spring would still be too wet to take in more water. Major flood risks are being expected from areas near the Red River, Ohio River, and the James River.

This isn't a problem that's specific to areas covered by snow like Ohio where there can be 2 to 4 inches of snow on average, but also to low-lying areas. Once these areas' respective ground couldn't take any more water, all that water won't stop and actually go to low-lying areas.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

 

Once you include drought in the equation, then you're just looking at heavy rain and even small amounts of precipitation to be water hitting cement.

This is why NOAA's recent outlook sees areas like the Ohio Valley to be at above-average levels when it comes to flood risks during the spring. This simply means that Ohio is expected to see more floods and runoff during the blooming season. This is the concern of NOAA due to the melting of ice, snow, as well as precipitation as we move into a warmer climate.

How Flood Insurance Helps

We're going, to be honest, a mere flood policy won't be able to change the flood threat that you're facing in Ohio or control its flood stage. However, just like a role-playing game, flood insurance has all the defense stats you would need to avoid getting snared by the violent spring runoff.

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Flood insurance actually covers damages from all types of flooding including spring runoff or spring flood. This simply means that regardless of the floodwaters coming from snowpacks melting, storms, or major rivers cresting, you will find peace of mind knowing that you can fight those losses.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

A standard flood insurance policy can cover all of the damages due to flooding on both your home or dwelling and everything inside of it. Depending on where you're getting your flood insurance, you might see different coverage amounts.

For example, getting a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will cap your coverage amount for building damages to $250,000 and $100,000 for contents.

The same can't be said for private flood insurance companies. Private flood is known for its quick turnaround time to have a policy take effect on an insured building and more flexible coverage amounts.

Need more help in preparing for spring floods? Click here to read our guide on "How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season".

Bloom in Spring

Spring flood is becoming a yearly concern for the United States, so it's best to know why such an important change from winter to spring can impact you. After all, we are talking about our safety.

If you've got questions on spring floods or anything about flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we answer your flood insurance questions.

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flooding, flood insurance, and protecting you from all types of flood risks.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294