If Last Year’s Hurricane Season Could Predict the Future

As this hurricane season approaches, we’re focused on helping agents across the country address these three questions:

  1. What should you expect this season in terms of the storm climate?
  2. What can you tell policyholders and prospects about last year’s hurricane season to help them prepare for this season?
  3. How can you retain the flood policies and commissions you added to your book after last hurricane season?

IIAT Advantage flood partner Assurant provided some insight on what to expect this upcoming hurricane season:

What to Expect This Hurricane Season

So far this year, Colorado State University predicts a slightly above-average 2018 season, citing the relatively low likelihood of a significant El Nino as a primary factor.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 14 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven to become hurricanes and three to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

How to Help Policyholders Prepare for an Active Hurricane Season

As we prepare for the hurricane season ahead, flood insurance is critically important. Last year’s hurricane season proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. If customers ask you about dropping their flood policies, make sure they understand that flood insurance is essential to protecting their assets. The 2017 hurricane season had a devastating impact on uninsured properties, costing a record amount.

IIAT provides a sample letter that you can use as a template to communicate with your clients. Share these facts with policyholders and prospects to help them understand the importance of flood insurance.

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Protect Your Flood Book Year Round

With last year’s hurricane season almost a year behind us, the new policies you acquired last year, as well as existing policies, will be up for renewal. While we typically see many “disaster-inspired policies” drop off at first renewal, talking to your policyholders proactively can make all the difference. In addition to the stats above, make sure your policyholders know:

  • All 50 states have experienced flash flooding in the last five years.
  • More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside the high-risk flood zones.
  • Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
  • If your property is grandfathered into a lower risk zone than FEMA’s current flood map reflects, and you let your policy lapse, you could lose this benefit.
  • Disaster Assistance is not free money, the most common form of assistance is a low-interest SBA loan.
  • Flood insurance pays claims regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
  • They may be able to decrease the cost of their premium while maintaining flood protection with private flood insurance.

Need additional information about Flood Markets? 

Contact Polly Middlebrook at 512.493.2425

 

 

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Tropical Weather System Floods South Texas

tropical-weather-nh-14-1024x604This week the entire Texas coastline has been drenched with heavy rains resulting in flooding in many areas with several Texas cities reporting rainfall totals in excess of 12 inches.

According to a release issued by the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), The National Weather Service in Brownsville reported this week’s storm system in south Texas was the result of “an elongated upper-level disturbance” which has been moving slowly across the Texas coast.  Widespread flooding has been reported in many areas of the Rio Grande Valley.  First responders have been called on numerous water rescues from vehicles and homes in the area.

The highest total rainfalls occurred in Harlingen with 16 inches and 8 to 13 inches were reported in Los Fresnos, Weslaco, Mercedes and north Brownsville.  Valley International Airport reported more than 9 inches of rain over a 2 ½-hour period, and one hundred sixty miles away, Corpus Christi has received 14 inches of rain since the storm began Tuesday.

Barry Goldsmith, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Brownsville, said tropical moisture behind the storm system intensified the heavy rainfall.  “Colliding boundaries from these bands of moisture produced several thunderstorm systems that intensified the upper disturbance along the coast,” said Goldsmith.

“Especially along the Texas coast, flood insurance offers homeowners the protection they may need when tropical storms stall and the area is deluged with rain,” said Mark Hanna, an ICT spokesperson.  “This has not been an isolated storm. We have seen flooding from Brownsville to Corpus Christi and flash flood warnings posted throughout southeast Texas.”

In many areas of Texas coast, only a small percentage of homeowners have flood insurance.  Only 12 percent of the homeowners in Brownsville and Cameron County have flood insurance, while 20 percent of the homeowners in Corpus Christi and Nueces County have flood coverage.  Hanna said the area’s economy and consumers underestimating their risk of flood, often plays a role in how many homeowners actually purchase flood insurance coverage.

Remind Your Clients…

The basic Texas homeowner policy does not provide protection against rising water. You must purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You can live outside a designated flood zone to be at risk for flooding. The massive flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey last year showed how extensive rainfall can result in flooding well outside designated flood plains.

Hurricane season began June 1 and the peak of the hurricane season in Texas occurs in mid-September.  This is the time you should be checking your coverages and looking at buying flood insurance. There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy becomes effective. Homeowners living along the Texas coast should consider purchasing three insurance policies for full protection:  a homeowner policy, windstorm coverage (if not included in their homeowners’ policy), and a flood insurance policy.

Most flood insurance is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under FEMA.  An NFIP flood policy offers coverage up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and up to $100,000 for one’s personal property.  Upon purchase, it takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect.   For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program, click here: https://www.floodsmart.gov/

For more information, ICT has online resource pages with information on Hurricane Harvey and other flood insurance facts,   ICT Hurricane Central

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Time to Remind Clients About Flood Insurance

Last year, insurance agents and property owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey learned about floods and flood insurance the hard way. Will it be your community’s turn this year? It’s a good time to remind your customers about flood insurance. View a sample letter that you can use as a template to communicate with your clients. You can also view articles covering flood-related issues on InfoCentral here. Remember, you must log-in to iiat.org to have access to the member-sonly content on InfoCentral.

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Jeff Brady to Serve as IIAT Chair

New board members and officers were introduced during IIAT’s annual business meeting in San Antonio on June 15. Jeff Brady of Brady, Chapman, Holland & Associates in Houston, was elected as IIAT chair for 2018-2019. Mark Ray of Borden Insurance in Corpus Christi, will serve as chair-elect; and Robert Nitsche of The Nitsche Group in Giddings, will serve as vice-chair.

Elected to the board of directors for three-year terms each were Josh Andrajack with Boley-Featherston Insurance in Wichita Falls; Pete Bibby, with Bibby, Brilling & Associates, LP in Dallas; Jim McNeill with McNeill Insurance Agency in Nederland; and Jason Rollo with Rollo Insurance Group in College Station.

Go to iiat.org’s Press Room to read more about the officers and board members.

 

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2018-19 IIAT Chair Jeff Brady (L) and Chair-Elect Mark Ray (R).

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View Photos from IIAT’s 121st Annual Conference & Trade Show

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Click here to view the photos.

 

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Thanks to the 2018 Annual Conference Underwriters and Sponsors

IIAT’s 121st Annual Conference & Trade Show was a success due in part to the generous contributions of numerous conference underwriters and industry sponsors. Be sure to thank representatives from our sponsoring companies the next time you see them. Each year, they help make the conference special.

Special thanks go to IIAT’s lead underwriters: 

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“Spaced” Learning for Your New Hires!

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What are your training plans for new hires this year?

To create immediate impact and employee engagement, be sure to have your training program ready for launch from day one.  IIAT has an immediate solution for you to begin the onboarding process with your new hires.

Check out IIAT’s New Hire online training programs. The course bundles can be mapped into an overall training plan with hours of learning for the new hire.

Integrate the structured online courses with responsibilities such as product review, agency management processes, client calls/visits, creating quotes and running reports to learn the business.

Here’s a tip – space the learning!  Varied and intermittent approaches reinforce concepts and increase the chance of content retention.

According to Dartmouth College published research:

  • The timing or arrangement of review/practice affects learning.
  • Practice is more effective when spaced out over time, instead of massed or grouped together (equating total practice time).
  • Spaced practice enhances memory, problem-solving, and transfer of learning to new contexts.
  • Spaced practice offers great potential for improving students’ educational outcomes.

Advice – space out the online learning over time, at least two months.  The new learner will need a resource or internal coach for questions and stories of the concepts in action.  Avoid crunching 40 hours of learning into the first week.

Congratulations on growing your team – Good luck!

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Free MarshBerry Webinar: Four Critical Components to Creating a Growth Culture

Join MarshBerry for a free webinar on Wed., July 11 (10-10:30 a.m.). This 30-minute webinar will explore the four critical components that must exist to create the growth culture necessary to perpetuate in the current climate. Learn how training, coaching, mentoring and managing integrate to create a winning formula for sales performance in the insurance world.

Register for the webinar.

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Going to Conference? Make Sure You Have the Mobile App

Get ready for IIAT’s Annual Conference & Trade Show at the JW Marriott Sanapp pic Antonio Hill Country, June 13-15, with the IIAT Events mobile app.

  • View the complete event schedule, explore all of the sessions, and get speaker information.
  • Connect with attendees and explore the trade show guide.
  • Keep your pulse on the most popular sessions and events by accessing the app’s Activity Feed which will highlight photos, comments, and more.
  • Receive announcements and get the most up-to-date event information.
  • Expand your professional network and have fun by interacting with other attendees in the app.
If you don’t have the IIAT Events app, search “IIAT” in the Apple or Google mobile app stores on your phone.
If you already have the IIAT Events app on your phone, make sure you switch events in the app to the “2018 Annual Conference & Trade Show.
To switch events:
  1. Open the IIAT Events app on your phone
  2. Select the “More” menu located on the bottom right of the screen in the app
  3. Scroll to the bottom, then select Logout/Switch Events and choose “2018 IIAT Annual Conference & Trade Show”
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