The flood insurance debate returns. Here’s what to expect

Link: https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063731009

Excerpt:

The most comprehensive proposal being floated so far is one from House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

That discussion draft would extend the program for an additional five years and limit the government’s ability to raise the price of flood insurance amid growing concerns about affordability (E&E Daily, April 14). Current authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is set to expire in five months.

….

Jerry Theodorou, director of the finance, insurance and trade program at the R Street Institute, said subsidies mask the real costs of building and living in flood-prone areas and that the Peters-Barr bill would ensure that policyholders aren’t “undercharged.”

Theodorou said the Waters bill instead would kick the can down the road, and he criticized the measure for seeking to cancel the program’s historic $20.5 billion debt.

Author(s): Hannah Northey

Publication Date: 27 April 2021

Publication Site: E&E News

Insuring Another Disaster

Excerpt:

Leave it to California lawmakers, however, to cast aside thousands of years of complex commercial history in a misguided attempt to fix an admittedly legitimate insurance problem. Thanks to Proposition 103, a 1988 ballot measure, California already has a distorted insurance market that gives the insurance commissioner czar-like powers to approve rate increases and impose rate decreases.

Because of that law, insurers have a tough time adjusting rates to manage their risks. It’s a long, cumbersome, and antagonistic government process to adjust rates. Their other lever for ensuring solvency is to reduce their underwriting risks by, say, not writing fire-insurance policies to homeowners who live in high fire-risk areas or car insurance policies to drivers with multiple DUIs.

….

Instead, California Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has introduced Assembly Bill 1522, which would prohibit insurers from canceling insurance policies solely because a home or business is located in a high-risk wildfire area. It epitomizes California’s economically illiterate edict approach.

Author(s): Steven Greenhut

Publication Date: 29 April 2021

Publication Site: The American Spectator

Caribbean volcano erupts, prompts thousands to evacuate

Link: https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/caribbean-volcano-erupts-prompts-thousands-to-evacuate/929927

Additional Link: https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158020097989327/?type=3

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations on the island of Saint Vincent Thursday evening, ahead of a major volcanic eruption on Friday morning.

Saint Vincent is a volcanic island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean and is home to La Soufrière, the island’s largest volcano.

Around 8:30 a.m., local time, on Friday, the volcano underwent an “explosive eruption,” spewing ash high into the air.

Author(s): Courtney Travis, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Publication Date: 9 April 2021

Publication Site: AccuWeather

Remote workers spend more on housing than those who commute

Link: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/03/02/remote-workers-spend-more-on-housing-than-those-who-commute

Graphic:

Excerpt:

This shift will be a welcome change for many employees, especially those who used to have long, arduous commutes. But those who go remote on a full-time basis will incur at least one cost: paying for extra workspace at home. Such expenses are not trivial. A recent working paper by Christopher Stanton and Pratyush Tiwari of Harvard University estimates that, between 2013 and 2017, American renters who worked from home spent roughly 7% more of their incomes on housing than similar workers who commuted to the office. Homeowners who worked remotely spent an extra 9% on their mortgage payments and property taxes.

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: The Economist

Risk Rating 2.0

Link: https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance/work-with-nfip/risk-rating

Excerpt:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is redesigning its risk rating by leveraging industry best practices and current technology, FEMA will deliver rates that are fair, make sense, are easier to understand and better reflect a property’s unique flood risk. FEMA calls this effort Risk Rating 2.0.

alert – warning
Risk Rating 2.0 implementation has been deferred To October 1, 2021.

While the agency initially announced that new rates for all single-family homes would go into effect nationwide on October 1, 2020, some additional time is required to broaden the agency’s analyses of the proposed rating structure across its entire book of business, to include its relationship to communities behind levees. Therefore, FEMA decided to adjust implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 by one year to October 1, 2021.

Date Accessed: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: FEMA

Did your pipes burst during Texas’ winter storm? Here’s what to expect from insurance

Link: https://news.yahoo.com/did-pipes-burst-during-texas-220107004.html

Excerpt:

Chris Pilcic, a public affairs specialist for State Farm, said to first keep calm. Then, turn your water supply off and let all the remaining water in your pipes drain out

Next step, look over your damage, both to your property and your personal belongings. And then call your insurance agent.

“The average frozen pipe claim we paid in Texas last year was $10,300,” Pilcic said on Wednesday.

What comes out of your pocket will depend on your coverage and deductible.

Author(s): Nichole Manna

Publication Date: 17 February 2021

Publication Site: Yahoo News

U.S. insurers brace for hefty claims from Texas storm once thaw sets in

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-weather-texas-insurance/u-s-insurers-brace-for-hefty-claims-from-texas-storm-once-thaw-sets-in-idUSL1N2KO3AX

Excerpt:

U.S. property insurers are bracing for claims for damage from collapsing roofs, bursting pipes and lost business as Texas takes stock of its losses from a winter storm that has crippled its electrical grid.

Insurers’ losses could stretch into billions of dollars, said Moody’s analyst Jasper Cooper.

Insurers in Texas, the second-largest property insurance market among U.S. states, are used to grappling with historic storms, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

But this winter storm is unique because of its grip across the state. It crippled the electric grid and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power for four days.

Author(s): Suzanne Barlyn

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters

Texas storm may cost insurers record first-quarter losses – A.M. Best

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-texas-insurance-idUSKBN2AJ2IS

Excerpt:

 Insurers could suffer record first-quarter catastrophe losses after the historic Texas winter storm, which crippled the state’s electrical grid and caused extensive property damage including collapsed roofs and broken pipes, insurer credit rating agency A.M. Best said on Friday.

The storm occurred during a quarter that is typically the most benign for catastrophe losses, and could become the costliest winter weather event in Texas history, A.M. Best said in a report.

The Texas Department of Insurance plans to collect data from property insurers to assess costs stemming from the crippled electrical grid, roofing collapses, broken pipes and other problems, a spokesman said.

Author(s): Suzanne Barlyn

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters

Florida consumers ‘flabbergasted’ as property insurers push for double-digit rate hikes

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-insurance-florida-idUSKBN2AC111?utm_source=34553&utm_medium=partner

Excerpt:

Florida property insurers are jacking up rates by double-digit percentages, blaming the hikes on lingering damage from past hurricanes, a wave of litigation, and a law that encourages lawyers to sue by allowing courts to award them big fees.

The rate increases in Florida, the third-largest property insurance market among U.S. states, are the highest in memory, according to some insurance agents and residents. One danger, they say, is that the new rates could make owning a home in Florida unaffordable.

Author(s): Suzanne Barlyn

Publication Date: 12 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters