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From the Front Lines: Flood

"Flood insurance is very important for overall risk management," says independent agent Ryan Andrew. "My agency works to educate clients on the importance of flood insurance even if they don't live on the coast or near a large body of water."
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From the Front Lines: Flood Ryan Andrew

Agent

The Andrew Agency

Glen Allen, Virginia

How did you get started at your agency? 

I had a great mentor growing up and knew I wanted to get into the insurance industry. I majored in business economics in college and then worked in claims for several years to understand that side of the business before opening my own agency in 2009. 

Why the flood insurance market? 

Flood insurance is very important for overall risk management. My agency works to educate clients on the importance of flood insurance even if they don't live on the coast or near a large body of water. 

Unfortunately, most clients only purchase flood insurance when it's required by their mortgage company.

Biggest industry changes?

Premium increases have been the biggest change I have seen in this industry, especially for secondary and rental properties. Clients have experienced double-digit rate increases over the last five years and I don't see an end in sight to this.

Biggest challenges?

Educating clients on why they should purchase a flood policy even when they do not live in a high-risk zone. It's a tricky process, but understanding the benefits and explaining these to the client is extremely important in helping them make the best decision for their protection.

Future trends? 

Private flood insurance is becoming more common. Will private start to insure high-risk areas? This could be a possibility. However, I say this with caution as private flood companies have not been tested.

Flood insurance advice for a fellow agent?

Educate your clients regarding the importance of flood insurance. Additionally, make it a habit for you and your staff to offer flood insurance to all personal lines clients.

Favorite success story?  

My agency has experienced an increase in flood insurance policies for the past 10 years. This is a good sign knowing that our agency is helping to educate and improve.

Olivia Overman is IA content editor.