As the clock ticked down on Friday, December 21, Congressional leaders once again narrowly kept the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) afloat, providing a short-term reauthorization of the program until May 31, 2019. The move came only hours before the start of a partial federal government shutdown, which led the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to announce it was halting sales of new and renewing policies due to an appropriations lapse. FEMA, which administers the program that provides coverage for more than 5 million homeowners, abruptly reversed the decision a week later after industry groups and lawmakers expressed concern over the disruption to the program.
For those who have closely watched the debate over the fate of program, the 11th-hour extension came as no surprise. In fact, since the NFIP’s last long-term authorization expired in September 2017, the program has been extended 10 times. The program has also experienced two brief lapses since 2016.
While many lawmakers have been vocal about the need for wholesale reforms, questions remain as to whether Congress will make long-term reauthorization a priority in 2019. Any potential lapse in the program poses significant concerns for both lenders and insurance providers, as they strive to ensure that their customers have coverage, whether mandated by law or a preference to protect their assets.
With the continued uncertainty surrounding the NFIP, and the onset of winter and its impending storms, it has never been a better time to explore the benefits of private flood insurance and review the options with your valued customers. Here are three reasons why private flood insurance will provide your customers with the peace of mind they need, knowing their assets are being protected every step of the way.
1. Congressional approval and action.
The private market is not dependent on Congress to renew authority and ensure stability. Your customers can take comfort in the certainty that comes with private flood insurance, knowing that they are able to get a policy when they need it and count on the coverage it provides.
2. More options and better coverages.
The private flood market offers your customers with a wider range of options than provided under the NFIP, including competitive rates, higher limits and broader coverages. Private coverage is also not subject to NFIP surcharges and fees.
3. Tailored solutions backed by industry expertise and superior service.
For more than 25 years, Tokio Marine Highland has been at the forefront of private flood insurance. It’s why you can be confident in presenting your customers with our specialized products and innovative solutions to protect against devastating flood loss. And if there is a need to file a claim, Tokio Marine Highland’s wholly owned and operated claims administrator ensures claims are handled promptly, professionally and accurately.
Although transitioning NFIP coverage to the private market may not be a fit for every policyholder, Tokio Marine Highland can quote your potential target risks and answer any questions you and your customers may have about options.