Some New Yorkers Having Trouble Finding Affordable Flood Insurance

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  • The effects of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City are still being felt in some parts of the outer reaches of the city’s five boroughs, and experts now say that includes a significantly increased difficulty for residents when it comes to finding flood insurance coverage. For this reason, it might be a good idea for insurance agents to try to do more to connect with affected homeowners and help them to find the best available coverage that will keep them secure at a price that works for them.

    Many residents of Queens, N.Y., have recently begun reporting that their difficulty in finding affordable home insurance add-ons is growing more and more dire these days, and could be a major point of concern because of how vulnerable that area of the city is to heavy rains which lead to flooding, according to a report from Property Casualty 360. This is particularly problematic because many of the parts of that borough that are at the greatest risk are also some of the city’s poorest.

    “I would say more than 90 percent  of the homeowners I speak to out here, they’re looking for insurance and they’re not getting it,” Councilman Donovan Richards, who represents Rosedale and Far Rockaway in Queens, told the site. “Insurance companies obviously don’t want to take the risk. We would get a lot of these complaints and insurance companies just were not helping. They were saying ‘Is it flood insurance or wind insurance?’ We don’t care about that. All we know is that if we pay it, we want to know if insurance will go through.”

    What can be done?
    Now, elected officials from the area are working to build better protections for residents, the report said. These include a “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” and “Consumers Guide to Insuring Against Catastrophic Losses” that might end up helping people better understand their situations, and what their options are for better protecting their homes.

    Insurance agents who can work with consumers to find the most reasonable home coverage options for their specific risks might be those who also enjoy the highest customer satisfaction ratings. In addition, if they can also find those clients the occasional discount, they might be able to build an even better relationship going forward, which could serve to keep their retention rates higher than others in the industry.