June was definitely flood month! Not only was it the start of Hurricane Season (though Mother Nature did not wait and had already spun three storms out by then!), but it also saw two national virtual flood conferences, which had 4,000+ in total registrations!!! Hats off to APCIA (American Property Casualty Insurance Association) for hosting a successful three-day virtual National Flood Conference (NFC) — which offered CFM credits! — and to ASFPM for its highly engaging three-day virtual conference and exhibit hall. For those who attended both, you were probably flooded with information (or more like a tsunami!) like your Insurance Committee Co-Chairs were. Here are a couple of take-aways from the NFC:
- In the Lender Town Hall, one of the issues discussed was the enforcement of the different lender-related flood insurance regulations (providing a flood zone determination, escrowing flood, requiring flood insurance, etc.). Just in the past year, lenders have been fined from $800 to nearly $18 M for not enforcing proper procedures. (Note: Co-Chair Steve bought a house in the floodplain in 1990 and was not required to buy flood insurance, which is much less likely to happen today. Oh, and if you are wondering, he did go get a policy anyway!)
- In The State of the Private Flood Market session, we heard how the private market is still small but continues to grow. The take-up rate of flood insurance overall is around 5 percent of households. NFIP probably ensures 34% of the homes in the Special Flood Hazard Areas. So, as we all know, there is a large insurance gap. State insurance regulators (like in NJ, VA, NC, FL, and AL) are working hard to make it more attractive for insurers to write private flood insurance in their state to help fill that gap.
- As a side note, the NFC sessions kicked off with a panel discussion on Urban Flooding that included ASFPM’s Executive Director, Chad Berginnis, and ASFPM Foundation’s president, Doug Plasencia. It’s well worth watching!
Other news from the past couple of months to highlight or remind you include:
- FEMA increased the 30-day grace period for receipt of a renewal premium to 120 days for policies expiring February 13 – June 15. FEMA did not extend this grace period beyond that.
- FEMA provided guidelines for remote claim adjusting to help protect the health and safety of policyholders and adjusters. During the NFC, FEMA reported that it was going well.
- The April 2020 changes went into effect and the latest NFIP Manual posted online.
- Effective June 6, FEMA switched from FICO (Flood Insurance Claims Office) numbering system to Event Designation Numbers (EDNs) which will use six-digit alphanumeric characters instead of the three numeric fields used for FICO. Also, WYOs and NFIP-Direct had to start collecting email address for policyholders (new and renewal) which will be used by FEMA “to better understand the NFIP customer experience.”
While the virtual ASFPM conference did not allow for the Insurance Committee to have its annual Monday afternoon meeting with guest speakers, we are aiming to still hold it…virtually. Stay tuned and let us know if there are any specific topics you’d like us to cover by emailing us at email@example.com.
Your Insurance Committee Co-Chairs
Steve Samuelson, CFM and Bruce A. Bender, CFM