Hurricane Season: 10 Years after Katrina, Help Your Clients Protect What Matters

It’s that time of year again—hurricane season. And that means it’s important for your clients to secure coverage for possible damage.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the most destructive hurricane season in history. Out of the 28 named storms in the 2005 storm season, four were Category 5—and reported damages totaled $159 billion.

Since recent hurricane seasons have been less active in comparison, you may find that your clients have developed a false sense of security. While you’re talking to them about homeowners, wind and hurricane coverage, don’t forget to have the flood talk. It might be the most important conversation you have with your clients this year.

Flood insurance will help your clients get back on their feet—but only if they have the right coverage to make the necessary repairs and replace their belongings. After any disaster, some people find they didn’t have enough coverage because they got only what the lender required, not what they truly needed.

Here are a few tips that will help your clients better understand their flood risk and find the right amount of coverage:

  • Remind them if their home is their principal residence, they must insure the building to at least 80% of the home’s replacement cost to adjust their future flood claim at replacement cost value.
  • Encourage them to purchase contents coverage to make replacing or repairing furniture, appliances and other household items easier. Remember to explain that all contents claims are adjusted at actual cash value, which means they might not get back as much as it cost to buy the item when it was new.
  • Having the flood talk with all your clients includes your longstanding clients. Someone who declined flood coverage in the past might be ready to rethink that decision. Someone who purchased only building coverage might be ready to add contents coverage. And someone who enjoyed full coverage last year might have made changes to the insured property that requires coverage increase. You might have increased it for their homeowners policy, but make sure you also update their flood insurance.
  • If a client still declines flood coverage for the building or contents or asks to insure the home for less than replacement cost, make sure you secure a signed declination form indicating you offered the coverage but the client declined it. This will help reduce your errors and omissions exposure.

Check out more FloodSmart tips and resources to help you market and sell flood insurance, including a hurricane-related widget, infographic and video testimonials, as well as the “Should You Have the Flood Talk?” video. Don’t already participate in the free Agent Referral Program? Sign up to begin receiving leads.

Remember, a 30-day waiting period usually applies before a flood policy takes effect. Don’t put off having this important conversation with your clients. If you wait until a hurricane is approaching, it will be too late. Having the flood talk is not always easy, but it is always important. Don’t let your clients find themselves without the means to put the pieces back together when a hurricane heads their way this year.

FloodSmart is the official website of the NFIP.