The severe flooding in the Southeast U.S. brought by Hurricane Idalia highlights the importance of flood insurance.
Yesterday, Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida's Big Bend near Keaton Beach, where the Florida Panhandle curves into the peninsula, just before 8 a.m. ET. with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. Idalia is the strongest storm to hit this part of Florida in more than 100 years, according to Deanne Criswell, head of FEMA.
The storm briefly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall as a Category 3 storm. As the winds subsided, a record-breaking storm surge threatened communities in the Florida panhandle with waters rising to 16 feet. The island city of Cedar Key was badly hit by Idalia, experiencing an almost 9-foot storm surge.
The storm weakened to a Category 1 storm and made its way into Georgia. Overnight, Idalia reduced in force to a tropical storm as it continued its path into the Carolinas where more flooding is expected in coastal areas.
In the aftermath of the storm, the National Weather Service reminded those affected by the storm to remain cautious about the dangers of damages to buildings, downed power lines and traversing flooded roadways.
Despite the growing frequency of severe storms, flood insurance is still a difficult sell. Moreover, as inflation continues to put pressure on household budgets and layoffs seep into the headlines, consumers may be even more reluctant to make another insurance purchase.
However, “it is a critical time for agents to discuss the importance of flood insurance with all of their customers," Cassie Masone, vice president, flood operations, Selective Insurance, told Independent Agent magazine in April. “As prices for goods and services rise, consumers look to pare their expenses; flood insurance should not be an item to cut back on."
With large swaths of rural Florida, as well as areas around Tampa and Tallahassee, subject to severe flooding, Idalia brings flood insurance into focus once again. Here are a collection of articles from Independent Agent magazine published in 2023 about the importance of flood insurance:
3 Ways Agents Can Help Clients Understand Flood Insurance Coverage
By Olivia Overman
Despite the frequency of flooding, inflation and an uncertain economic outlook can make flood insurance a difficult sell.
NOAA Revises 2023 Hurricane Outlook to 'Above Normal'
By Will Jones
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters are predicting 21 named storms, of which up to 11 could become hurricanes.
Debunk Customers' Most Common Flood Myths to Avoid E&O Claims
By James Redeker
Here are six of the most common misconceptions the general public shares about flood coverage, which affect an agent's ability to sell a flood policy.
2023 Hurricane Risk Report: 33 Million Homes Under Threat
By Olivia Overman
CoreLogic's "2023 Hurricane Risk Report" provides a detailed look at what's at stake for the U.S. as hurricane season commences.
3 Trends Impacting the Flood Insurance Market
By Nick Orf
The exposure to flood losses has forced more residents and business owners to purchase flood insurance, while insurers are reevaluating the extent of their risks.
Changes in the Flood Market Are Raising Awareness of Insurance Options
By Olivia Overman
With changes in the frequency and severity of flooding events, opportunities are considerable for the continued evolution of the flood insurance market.
The Push to Increase Flood Insurance Participation Makes Waves
By Joe Rossi
Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements have covered flood losses that would have otherwise been uninsured.
Important to note at this time, the Trusted Choice® Relief Fund is available to any Big “I" members and independent agency personnel impacted by catastrophes. Established by the IIAA Educational Foundation in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, the fund distributes cash grants to victims and surviving family members of natural disasters. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Visit the Trusted Choice Relief Fund webpage to donate or to apply for a grant.
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.