Technology has come along way over the last 10 to 15 years. Insurance has also started to transfer to more of a digital experience. 

You can tell by just seeing insurance commercials on tv today. 

It seems like auto and home insurance has become more of a commodity over the last 5 years.

Many people just want what coverage is required and to move on. They want it done as a quick as possible. Maybe save 15% in 15 minutes but what if 15 minutes could cost you 85% of what you own.

So is flood insurance the next drive thru purchase?

 

As I am sure everyone has had a drive thru experience. I feel like I have a bad one almost everyday when i go to get my afternoon diet coke from the arch.

 

 

Each time I visit I pay close attention to the drive thru experience. They now have multiple lines that merge to one line. They seem to be attempting to push through more traffic but are making more mistakes than ever.

Imagine if you bought flood insurance this way. Can you imagine having to get your policy changed 3 times or more?

Can you imagine purchasing a policy that has no contents coverage?

Can you imagine purchasing a policy that would only cover half the building?

Crazy right?

Well this is what we see happen everyday when someone purchases flood insurance online.

Treating your biggest asset to a drive thru experience may not be such a great idea.

After your home or business has flooded is not the time to find out you don't have the right coverage.

This is exactly what happened to a customer that came to us when they dealt with an online bank.

So if you are going to buy online or want that quick process at least make sure a few things are done.

  1. Signed application submitted
  2. Proof of payment submitted
  3. Confirm bank has a copy

So if you have questions about the flood insurance buying process then click here.

Remember you can also check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

We have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand flood insurance, flood risk, and mitigating your property.

Contact Us

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

Should you buy flood insurance online?

It's a question we get often. Covid 19 has changed a lot of this where everyone is shifting online.

 

 

However as the purchasing of insurance online has increased over the years it seems insurance coverage advising has taken a major hit.

One of the great benefits of walking into an insurance office was that you could have a professional agent advise you on the right coverages.

Lately it feels like insurance has become the next drive thru purchase for consumers.

People are concerned with how fast they can get it 

Can we advise customers online without a physical interaction?

Yes video is one form that is helping to change the purchase of insurance online. Using video through the purchase price does a couple of things.

  1. Personal connection
  2. Coverage recommendation

The development of video has done wonders for us. Whether someone is 2 miles away or 2000 miles away it has helped us develop a deeper relationship with prospects and customers.

Video has also allowed us to show prospects examples of when they may use or need a certain flood insurance coverage.

Can you imagine going online to purchase something with no advisement?

If you didn't know exactly what you were looking for you might pick the wrong thing.

We talk to flood insurance policy holders everyday who have done this. In fact many times they don't know if they have a National Flood Insurance Program policy or a private flood insurance policy.

Want to know the difference click here.

Buying flood insurance online doesn't have to be a bad thing. It just needs to be an advisement experience.

What do mean by that?

We mean that someone needs to help navigate you through the process of coverage selection and policy selection.

Let's look at coverage selection first. When someone comes to us after purchasing flood insurance online the first thing we look at is replacement cost of property.

 

The majority of the time they are underinsured for about 30-40%

Getting only 60-70% of your home rebuilt would do you much good. It would probably look like the picture below.

Now let's look at policy selection. When consumers are faced with the choice to choose between private flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program price is usually the driving factor.

However many times they are not shown the long term stability of those rates over a 5 year period. While the National Flood Insurance Program might have a higher rate they may have had more stable rates over a 5 year period.

As you see buying flood insurance online can be scary but it doesn't have to be. If you want to actually speak with someone or even get a video proposal on your flood insurance then click here.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood insurance, flood risks, and mitigating your property long term.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance you can also check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

Contact Us

 

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

There are few things that get my blood boiling more than when I hear someone say I am not in a flood zone or they tell someone is not in a flood zone.

 

 

Everybody is in a flood zone. It might be a low, moderate, or high risk flood zone.

Low Risk zones

 

Moderate flood zones

 

High Risk flood zones

 

It might be a special flood hazard area where flood insurance is required.

One thing that gets me more than this is only pay for the flood insurance you need.

I see companies advertising everyday only pay for what you need.

In fact I use to work for one of them and they promised to never go down that path.

What a terrible message

You see most people don't know what they need until a claim or loss happens.

Recently one of our flood insurance customers In Decatur Georgia had a home insurance claim.

They bought their home insurance online and went with coverages offered online.

The fire was a total loss for the property. Thankfully the mortgage was paid off. However they were out over $75,000 in improvements. The home was underinsured by about 30% causing a major hardship to the customer and forcing them to walk away from the property.

We see this happen everyday on flood insurance as well. Recently in Texas we had someone come to us on flood insurance. They had some previous claims and were wanting help fighting the flood insurance claim amount.

They had a $150,000 policy but was only getting $20,000 on the claim. Her mortgage was for $150,000 so thats what she insured for. She was told she didn't need any more than the loan amount.

The problem is she didn't insure for 80% of the replacement cost or the max amount of coverage available through the National Flood Insurance Program. As a result her policy was an actual cash value policy resulting in a lower claim amount.

 

Now lets look at a customer that we had on Weiss Lake in Centre Alabama during the 2019 flood. This customer had a total loss on their lake home.

Customer was nervous because his wife's wedding dress had been destroyed. Thankfully the contents coverage on his private flood insurance policy covered the dress and the other things in the home.

When he came to us he did not want contents coverage but we advised him why he needed it. He sure was glad he took our recommendation after this claim.

This is why its so important to have someone advise you on what insurance coverages you may need. You may not know what you need until after the flood insurance claim.

If you have questions about picking the right flood insurance coverage then click here.

You can also learn more by visiting our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also check out our podcast here.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand your flood insurance, flood risk, and mitigating your property long term.

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

New flood maps are going into place for Galveston County Texas on August 2019. Its going to have a bigger impact in certain areas like League City. We want to discuss specifically how this city in the county will be impacted.

download (2)

The last time flood maps where updated was 1999 as you can imagine alot can change in 20 years. Texas has seen some devastating  flooding from hurricanes Ike and Harvey during that time frame. We have also seen major land development in this area in the last 20 years which can have a major impact on flood zones. 

What Will Impact be in League City

According to Community Impact Newspaper when maps were originally put in place in 1999 there were only 1,265 home in the 100 year flood zone. We all knew this number would increase with population increase combined with land development. However most people had no idea that number would increase to 3.730 homes in the 100 year flood zone.  This could have a major impact on property values in the area and  the ability for people to afford a mortgage.

download (3)

            Property Values

Property values could easily drop when these new flood maps go into place. One reason is that someone is not going to want to pay an additional $200 a month for house that is in a high risk flood zone when they could get more house for their money on a home that is not in the high risk flood zone. While homes that are being moved from a low risk flood zone, which is a flood zone X to a flood zone A or AE may not see a huge impact the first year, they could the second year.

Coastal landscape Beach view of boardwalk and deck by dune near peaked roofs of houses in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Impact on Mortgage

Like many other coastal areas have shown us when an area is moved into a high risk flood zone it can have big impact on mortgages and the ability for someone to get a mortgage. What would you do if your mortgage increased by $200 a month tomorrow.

  Well you would probably panic a little bit as maybe you should. This could possibly force you into a bankruptcy situation, so what if you want to but the home?

When purchasing a home mortgage companies use something called debt to income to determine how much house you could afford. Well flood insurance premiums just like home insurance premiums are part of this equation. So $200 a month could easily stop you from getting the home of your dreams or even your starter home. So what other options are available?

 

Technology online banking money transfer, e-commerce concept. Happy young man using smartphone with dollar bills flying away from screen isolated on gray wall office background.

What are the Options

There are really three different options on the table when this happens in a community. You can do a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, the private flood insurance market, or fight it.

National Flood Insurance Program

So when a League City or Galveston property is placed in a high risk flood zone the first thing people think about is the NFIP or FEMA. If you are going from a low risk zone to a high risk zone in Galveston then you have newly mapped flood insurance rates available. This is very important because it is very common for people in Galveston to be overcharged hundreds of dollars because a policy is not written correctly. When you qualify for new mapped rates you are basically getting the preferred rate for the first year. Each year after this your rate will continue to increase until the premium matches the flood risk correctly. That could mean a rate increasing 125% over a 5 year period since this is the current max renewal increase FEMA can do. So then what is the other option for flood insurance in League City and Galveston Texas? Well that would be private flood insurance.

 

Private Flood Insurance

Private flood insurance is just like it sounds. It is flood insurance that is provided by private companies in Galveston Texas. Because of this they can use their own underwriting guidelines and determine flood premiums differently. Private flood insurance can also decline Galveston properties depending on the risk. For example if a property has flooded in the last 5 years or a claim exceeds $50,000 than it is likely the private company would decline it. They could also decline it if it is in a floodway. If you are a good fit for private flood it could save you up to 50% compared to FEMA with more coverages. So we have talked about NFIP and private flood insurance, is there anyway to overturn these new maps?

Can You Fight It

Can you fight these changes? Yes you can now you might not when your case in Galveston like you might in other parts of the country. If any area has had a history of flooding then winning this fight is less likley. Something else that needs to happen is the lowest adjacent grade of your property needs to be above the base flood elevation by usually 1 foot in coastal areas like Galvestorn or League City Texas.

So maybe you have questions about what flood options are available in Galveston or League City Texas? Please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru

You can also check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos. Click the link below to learn more about these options as well.

 

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