Alabama’s new law, consumer survey
This has been a busy couple of weeks on the flood & resilience front, with Alabama passing a bill to exempt private flood insurance from rate filing requirements, and a new survey on consumer opinions on flood risk and insurance. I’m getting ready to present later this week at a conference in St. Pete on growing the private flood market and hope you can make it in person or virtually. It’s all in this week’s Flood Digest!
FEMA Conference: The Florida Floodplain Managers Association is holding its “FEMA Conference 2021,” taking place tomorrow through this Friday, April 16 in-person and in virtual session at the Hilton Bayfront Resort in St. Petersburg. I’ll be presenting at the 8:30am session Friday with When it Rains it Floods!, on the Top 10 reasons we can and must advance private flood insurance in this country as a needed alternative and complement to federal flood insurance. Conference registration is still open and you can sign up for individual days. We’re also going to get an update on Hurricane Michael recovery in Panama City; learn the latest on floodplain design and from others’ lessons on CRS and mitigation planning, including beaches; plus of course, a number of important FEMA updates, including the new Risk Rating 2.0 insurance ratings program. I do hope you can join us!
Alabama Private Flood Law: I’m so pleased to report that the Alabama Legislature has passed SB 69 to help encourage a thriving private flood insurance market for the state’s nearly 5 million residents. The bill took effect last week and exempts insurance companies from annual rate filing and approval requirements on their flood lines. It’s another state, along with South Carolina, that took heed of the Private Primary Residential Flood Insurance Model Act approved last fall by the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). The Act provides a streamlined way for more states to create a vibrant private flood market, just as Florida has (with 39 companies and growing). Iowa and Massachusetts have active bill efforts undergoing as well. We are continuing our work in other states to use the NCOIL model as a framework and foundation for meaningful private flood insurance legislation.
Consumer Flood Survey: The folks at Neptune Flood, in partnership with the University of South Florida (USF), are out with their latest Consumer Survey of Flood Awareness. The survey comprises qualified responses from 1,254 respondents across 39 US states. Key findings include:
- Most people still do not appreciate the risk their home is in of being flooded, with 60% believing they are at ‘low or no risk.’
- There is a high level of confusion over the term “flood zone,” with a third of respondents unsure what flood zone they’re in.
- 23% of those in high hazard areas would potentially not renew if not mandated to have flood insurance.
“The data indicate that consumers recognize the increasing risk of flooding, and offer up recommendations for how to increase the level of insurance coverage in the country,” said survey designer Dr. Philip Trocchia of USF’s Customer Experience Lab in St. Petersburg.
LMA Newsletter of 4-12-21