Flood Model Act progressing
With the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season a little more than two weeks away on June 1, we have some updates to share on storm season forecasts, new insurance catastrophe reporting forms, and the good progress being made toward developing a national model private flood insurance law by this summer.
Updated Forecast: The hurricane forecast for 2020 has gotten worse, with AccuWeather revising its prediction. It now expects up to 11 hurricanes this season (up from a range of 7-9) and 4-6 of those to be major hurricanes (winds speeds >111mph), up from its original prediction of 2-4. All of the major forecasting organizations are calling for an above average storm season, above 7 storms.
Of course we know that forecasts can be wrong. Sometimes the various models of storm paths, once they materialize, can be especially challenging for forecasters to reconcile. A new report from the National Hurricane Center explains why meteorologists were so confused with predicting which path Hurricane Dorian would take last August into September. Dorian killed more than 200 people in the Northern Bahamas and caused billions of dollars in damage.
New OIR Form: In preparation for the start of the season, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) is out with a draft of an updated Catastrophe Reporting Form (CRF) for 2020. The form is used by insurance companies to respond to OIR data calls issued after major storms. You can view the updated 2020 CRF here with an overview of changes from the 2019 form here. OIR will hold a technical assistance webinar this Friday, May 15, at 1pm ET to highlight the changes and seek input. For more information, you can email DisasterReporting@floir.com or call (850) 413-3147.
Private Flood Insurance Model Act: The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Special Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery held a conference call meeting on May 1 to discuss an updated version of the Act, sponsored by Rep. David Santiago (FL) and Sen. Vickie Sawyer (NC) and an industry-proposed strike-all amendment. Chair Sawyer did a great job of working thru the latest draft so all parties could provide input.
We applaud the National Association of Insurance Agents and the Federal Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR) for publicly supporting the idea that LMA and responsible agents support; i.e. strong provisions to ensure consumers are educated at the time of sale about flood insurance. According to the agents I talk to (listen to Trey Hutt on our recent podcast!!) they say it sounds like a good idea. LMA is continuing its efforts with a coalition of those who have worked tirelessly in Florida for a private flood market and hope to see it replicated throughout the nation through a Model Act. The May 1 discussion produced a proposed re-draft of Section 7 on agent education of consumers.
LMA Newsletter of 5-11-20