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Inquiring Homeowners Want to Know…
“Will I incur a separate deductible when we experience destructive winter weather events such as the recent tornados in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Coconut Creek or winter storm Jonas that hit several southern states hard and brought high wind gusts to the Jacksonville, Florida area?”

In most cases, the answer is “NO” and the reason is many of us have a “Hurricane” or “Named Storm” high deductible.  In these cases, the deductible only applies if there is a Hurricane Watch or Warning issued for any part of Florida, and that did not happen.

However, if your policy has a “Wind Deductible” then yes, your high deductible would apply to damage incurred from the recent weather events.

 

NFIPBACKGROUND
Biggert-Waters 2012 is a comprehensive piece of legislation affecting the National Flood Insurance Program. The biggest piece of legislation included in this reform act is that the NFIP’s authority has been extended until 2017. As the law is implemented, some of the changes have already 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. It is important to remember that there will be many changes to the program in the coming months and even years. These changes will make it vitally important to stay informed.

KEY FACTS:

  • Approximately 5.5 million flood insurance policies are provided through the National Flood Insurance Program and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • FEMA sets pricing for NFIP flood insurance policies. This means premiums and rates are identical regardless of agent or insurance carrier.
  • Premiums for many properties have been subsidized since the program’s inception.
  • Since 1978, the NFIP has paid out over $40 billion dollars in claims.

WHAT IS CHANGING?

  • The intent of the NFIP was for the program to be self-supporting, meaning premiums would cover the amount of claims paid and administrative costs.
  • However, substantial claims associated with recent flooding events such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Katrina and Ike required the NFIP to borrow additional funds from the U.S. Treasury, resulting in billions of dollars of debt for the NFIP.
  • The primary goal of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act is to make the NFIP more financially sound.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THOSE AFFECTED?

  • Subsidized rates are being phased out. If your property’s flood insurance rate is considered subsidized, you will more than likely have a new premium.

Gulfshore Insurance has gathered together FAQs, fact sheets, and other resources that detail the impact the Act and the NFIP reforms may have:

FEMA Fact Sheet: Impact of NFIP Changes
Homeowners Guide to Elevation Certificates
Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Questions and Answers

Hurricane ShuttersDid you know that certain requirements may apply if you have wind mitigation opening protection credits on your insurance policy?  You must close and secure shutters or other opening protection devices when a Hurricane Watch or Warning has been issued from the National Weather Service.

Chubb and Citizens Property Insurance Corp. include an “opening protection requirement” in their policy contract which requires hurricane protection devices must be closed and secured during a hurricane watch or warning issued by the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center.

Failure to comply with this requirement may result in a reduced loss payment if a claim is submitted for damages due to windstorm or hail during a Hurricane Watch or Warning.

For more hurricane and disaster related articles, click here.

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hurricane-shutters-insuranceHurricane opening protection and wind mitigation have two major benefits particularly as we approach hurricane season. There are the wind mitigation discounts which we receive on the wind portion of the homeowner policy which often generate significant savings. Then there are the physical benefits for strengthening the home which allows the home to be more wind resistant in the event of a major storm. Read more

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water-damageDid you know that water damage is one of the most commonly cited claims on home insurance? This should not come as a total surprise considering the many possible causes of water damage – heavy rain, bursting of pipes, and the bathtub accidentally overflowing. After making sure that you and those you live with are safely out of harm’s way, here are five important steps you should take if you experience water damage in your home. Read more

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