What’s Happening with Flood? Ask an Expert

Flood risk is one of the most severe natural hazards in the United States, yet maybe it is one of the least well-managed, and least understood by insurers. It is not surprising that many insurers have chosen to stay on the sidelines of the U.S. flood insurance market, which has been dominated for more than 40 years by the state-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

But slowly, the hurdles to private sector involvement are starting to clear, through the combined efforts of the industry, FEMA, and even private citizens. It will be an exciting time for private insurers and Americans if the new flood reform bill, H.R. 2874 passes through the Senate, as measures in the bill include increased acceptance of private flood insurance by mortgage providers, easing of fixed claims limits, and open source access to FEMA’s extensive claims database.

The bill even attempts to open up the creation and definition of FEMA flood zones — a key determinate in whether an area falls under the NFIP or not, to local government and communities. This could encourage communities to assess the flood risk in their area and take action, to propose mitigation activities that will reduce the impact of flood for a community.

The potential of more data being released by FEMA is exciting too, as is the promise of modeling which will give insurers the granular, detailed insight that they need to move forward in the private flood market.

A Texas National Guardsman carries a resident from her flooded home following Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 27, 2017. Image credit: U.S. Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

When it comes to flood, there is just so much to talk about. To discuss what this shift in the flood market could mean for insurers down to policyholder level, the impact of events such as Hurricane Harvey and the Houston floods, through to modeling developments and changes in legislation, Property Casualty 360 will be hosting #PC360Flood, a “Flood Insurance Live” Twitter chat this Wednesday, March 14 from 1 pm to 2 pm Eastern Time (ET).

There will be an esteemed panel of experts who will be ready to answer your flood insurance related questions, including:

  • Joshua Woodbury, Flood Specialist at Swiss Re @SwissRe
  • Craig Poulton of CATcoverage.com @NCIPtweets
  • Matt Nielsen, Senior Director, Global Governmental and Regulatory Affairs at RMS @MattN_RMS
  • Holly Widen, Product Manager and flood expert at RMS @hmwiden
  • Cliff Roberti, Principal at Federal Hall Policy Advisors LLC @cliffroberti
  • Christine Barlow CPCU, author of the forthcoming book “Commercial Flood Insurance Coverage Guide@FCSBulletins
  • John Dickson, President of NFS Edge Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of Aon National Flood Services (NFS) @NationalFlood
  • Michael Brown, Vice President and Property Department Manager at Golden Bear @michaelbmodesto

I hope you can join us for #PC360Flood, and as a follow-up, I will post a chat blog that captures all the interesting tidbits from the conversation.

Devonne works as a Public Relations Manager for the Americas, responsible for ensuring communications about RMS research, solutions and services reach target audiences and stakeholders across the Americas and the Caribbean.

She is based at the RMS office in Hoboken and has a background in business-to-business communications for the insurance and financial, real estate, and technology sectors. Devonne holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from George Washington University.

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