Archive for December, 2011

NFIP Renewed Again

December 29th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in flood insurance, world events

Under yet another short-term consolidated appropriations bill, H.R. 2055, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and signed into law by President Obama on the last business day before Christmas, the National Flood Insurance Program has been renewed again – this time until May 31, 2012.

Had the bill not passed, or the President refused to sign it, the Program would have lost its authority to issue new flood insurance policies or renew existing policies, at midnight on December 23rd.

Representatives of the Big “I” – the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America – are pleased with the reauthorization, but continue to push for program reforms, and a long-term authorization for the program.

Speaking on behalf of fellow agents and brokers, Charles E. Symington, Jr., the senior vice president for government affairs with the Big “I,” said, “It is important to note that our work on this important issue is far from over and the next few months provide ample opportunity for Congress to pass long-term extension and reform legislation that provides the necessary certainty for consumers.”

He also pointed out that traditionally, program extensions were granted in five-year periods in order to help keep the market stable, but that in recent years such extensions have usually been in 30-day to six-month terms.

Big “I” vice president for government affairs, John Prible, also spoke about the reauthorization, saying, “Today‚Äôs extension, although greatly appreciated, is just a temporary patch.”

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Merry Christmas from

December 19th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in friday filmstrips, homeowners insurance

Ah, December! The fresh scents of cranberry and pine. The anticipation of small children. The scent of burning wiring and scorched walls – okay, well, maybe not the last bit. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season, and offer this video about holiday fire safety, from State Farm – we’re sure your own homeowners insurance company probably agrees with their advice:

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FEMA Says: TX Fire Victims Need Flood Insurance

December 15th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in flood insurance, insurance news

This may seem counter-intuitive, but FEMA is advising the survivors of last spring and summers’ wildfires in Texas to consider flood insurance on their homes and offices.

Why flood insurance? Because when the wildfires burned away the trees, grasses and other vegetation in the scorched areas, the healthy plant roots that usually soak up a lot of rainwater were also lost. All that charred land means that even normal storm runoff has the potential to cause mudslides, flooding, and severe erosion.

The risk of wildfire-related flood damage is greatest, of course, for property that actually burned, but it houses and other buildings either below or downstream from the burned areas are at a heightened risk of flooding, as well. In fact, it is just this sort of interconnectedness that makes flooding the most common natural disaster in the United States.

Flood insurance can be obtained through the agent who sold your regular homeowners or renter’s insurance policy.

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OK Earthquake Relief Request DENIED

December 7th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in earthquake insurance

Last week, we reported that Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma had petitioned for assistance from FEMA after a series of earthquakes struck the state in November, with aftershocks felt throughout the long Thanksgiving holiday. On Monday, it was announced that her request for federal aid had been denied.

Governor Fallin told the press that she was “disappointed,” but that other options will be considered. One of those options is a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration to help residents of Lincoln County in their recovery.

Governor Fallin said that she believes individual assistance is justified because almost 200 homes and businesses have confirmed damage. To that end, she’s asked the SBA for low-interest disaster loans for renters, homeowners and business owners to repair or replace property not otherwise covered by insurance or eligible for any other kind of assistance. Such funding would also help businesses that suffered damage in the quakes.

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Oklahoma Governor Seeks Disaster Aid Because of Quakes

December 1st, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in earthquake insurance

The state of Oklahoma felt at least five small earthquakes over last week’s Thanksgiving holiday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there was a 2.4 magnitude quake at 6:55 AM on Saturday, November 26th, with an epicent4er about five miles south of Sparks. This was the fifth temblor in the area since Thursday the 24th, when a 3.7 magnitude shaker was recorded near Prague. There were three more tremors between those.

Earlier in November, a 5.6 magnitude quake – the strongest Oklahoma has ever recorded – struck the state, causing damage to at least 40 houses and a highway, and collapsing a tower at Shawnee, OK’s St. Gregory’s University.

In the wake of these earthquakes, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has requested a federal disaster be declared. Her request was made on November 22nd, and is meant to get help for people and businesses in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties, where the tremors have been centered. Nearly 200 homes and businesses have been damaged in those counties, according to early estimates.

If the governor’s request is approved, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management agency) will provide grants and low-interest loans to home- and business owners and renters.

Insurance companies
around the state are also rallying, redefining their coverage in Oklahoma.

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