Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hilary Confused about Homeowners vs. Flood?

Well, I never had any doubts that it is very common among the average 'person on the street' to be somewhat confused about just what is covered under homeowners insurance as opposed to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. But I would have hoped that a U.S. Senator and Presidential hopeful would have been able to get better information.

Hilary Clinton was touring some of the flood-ravaged areas of upstate New York recently, and took the opportunity to call on Allstate Insurance Company to reconsider their position of not writing new flood insurance policies on Long Island and other downstate areas, along with the cancellation of tens of thousands of existing policies. (Note that 'flood' in that case was her word, not ours)

Unfortunately, the flood damage she was looking at would ONLY have been covered under flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance program! While it's great that she is advocating on behalf of us here on Long Island and other areas that are prone to hurricane damage, Allstate would not be the culprit here, nor would they be the problem if we had major flooding here on the South Shore or anywhere else for that matter.

According to the article in National Underwriter magazine, Mrs. Clinton stated more than once that it's a shame that Allstate is no longer willing to provide flood insurance to their customers in Long Island, NYC, and Westchester. This kind of misinformation can only add to all the confusion and problems currently surrounding the market for coastal homeowners insurance.

Unfortunately, from what I have read, only about 1% of the people affected by last week's flooding actually carried flood insurance. That's most likely because they live in mountainous areas and would never have expected floods. But here on Long Island, and specifically on the South Shore, you need both a homeowners insurance policy AND a flood insurance policy if you want to be properly protected.

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