Flood Insurance Agents to Promote Policies to Consumers Who Are Unaware of Need

BY Rachel Cagle
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"According to Consumer Reports, in recent weeks, northern Californians have suffered from heavy rain, snow, and mudslides as powerful storms swept in from the Pacific Ocean. Nearby states, including Arizona, southern Nevada, and Wyoming, also felt the impact as flood watches went into effect. Yet the flood season has barely started. While flooding happens all year, it is particularly common in the late spring and summer, according to The Weather Company, a subsidiary of IBM."

"For that reason, you may want to consider buying flood insurance sooner rather than later. The insurance requires a 30-​day waiting period before it kicks in, which means this is the time to buy coverage."

"Even if you don’t live near a river or waterway, you could still get caught 'flood-​footed.' More than 20% of claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program are from areas deemed low- and moderate-​risk. A third of the NFIP claim payouts go to these areas."

"Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding unless it’s the result of a pipe or another part of your water system that breaks within your house. Water entering your home from the outside, from any number of sources, is typically covered only by flood insurance."

"Flood Insurance Isn't Costly

The good news for people who live in areas that aren’t at high risk for floods is that the coverage is relatively inexpensive. While the average annual premium is about $700, the premium for a low- to moderate-​risk property can be as low as $150, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the NFIP."

"You can also buy renters flood insurance. Unlike flood policies for homeowners, which cover the structures and personal property you own, renters flood coverage just covers personal property, up to $100,000 worth. (Buying less, or taking a high deductible, will save you money.)"

This is good news because Home/​Renters Insurance Policy Buyers value deals. According to AudienceSCAN, it is the personal goal of 48.7% of these consumers to increase savings. Within the last 30 days, 51.8% have used the internet to look for coupons or discount codes and, within the last six months, 36.8% have used a mobile device to redeem or download coupons. Additionally, last year, 63.3% were driven to action by direct mail ads and coupons and 49.3% took action after seeing ads on daily deals sites such as Groupon.

"Here are some surprising situations in which you might need that coverage:"

"You Live in an Area Affected by Wildfires

Large-​scale burned areas, like those affected by last year’s California wildfires, can become flood plains."

'Sometimes the fire burns so hot that the land is baked like a brick,' says Heather Williams, a spokesperson for California Natural Resources Agency. What is more, the fire burns the cellulose from the vegetation into a gas that then solidifies into a water-​resistant layer on top of the soil."

"The risk of flooding can remain high until new vegetation has a chance to grow, a period of up to five years, according to the NFIP (PDF). Dry areas with little vegetation can quickly become inundated after monsoons."

"Mudflows, which can move down slopes quickly after a rainfall, also are a risk. Only flood insurance covers those perils."

"You Live in a New Development

Basement flooding is more likely in newly developed areas, where new roads and parking lots cover soil that otherwise would absorb rainfall. With no place to go, water from, say, a heavy rain can seep through porous foundation walls."

"Your Neighbor Has an Above-​ground Pool

If your neighbor’s above-​ground swimming pool collapses and the water flows into your home, flood insurance covers it."

"If a water main break damages your home and at least one other home in the neighborhood, you can make a flood insurance claim. Don’t count on your homeowners insurance to cover it."

"You Live Where the Ground Freezes

When spring rain that falls on frozen ground has nowhere to go, it can seep into basements and cause havoc. Heavy snowpack that melts quickly can cause floods as well. That happened in California last summer after a record snowpack began to melt."

"You can buy flood coverage for residential and business properties."

Flood insurance providers can spread the word of these potential risks in many ways. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, Home/​Renters Insurance Policy Buyers took action after seeing TV commercials (66.5%), receiving email ads (53.2%) and after either receiving an ad via text or seeing ads on their mobile smartphone apps (44.8%). They're also 15% more likely than other adults to take action because of both digital and print magazine ads and 14% more likely to click on text link ads on websites.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.