Identify Flood Insurance Customers

Anywhere it rains, it can flood – that means there are potential flood insurance customers in your community.

While there may be many opportunities to identify customers, many property owners have misconceptions about flood insurance and their flood risk, such as:

  • “My homeowners insurance covers flood damage."
  • “I don’t believe my home is at risk – we haven’t flooded before.”
  • “My home isn’t in the flood zone, so I don’t need flood insurance.”

As agents, you can work with new and existing clients to clarify misconceptions, sell policies, and help clients protect the lives they’ve built. Here are a few ways to identify flood insurance clients.

Check in with existing clients

Are there clients in your portfolio who currently carry other lines of coverage with you, but not flood insurance? If so, there are opportunities to cross-sell flood insurance – it’s never too late to reach out to clients and remind them of the value of flood insurance.

By offering flood insurance as a part of your portfolio, you can make your clients aware of a key vulnerability in their coverage and more fully protect them, building trust and increasing potential for additional sales.

Before your area’s flood risk season, or in the weeks following flood conditions like heavy rains, flash floods, or winter storms, it’s a good idea to reach out to existing clients who do not carry flood insurance. Often, severe weather can underscore local flood risk and remind clients of the need for flood insurance.

We write a flood insurance quote with every policy we sell, but sometimes it takes severe weather for clients to understand their risk. When that happens, a lot of clients will call me back saying, ‘Bobby, we rethought it, and we think flood insurance is definitely worth the 450 bucks.’

Identify new clients

If you live and work in one of the more than 22,000 communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), there are potential customers in your area.

Through consumer research and policyholder data, the NFIP has found that flood insurance customers often share the following characteristics:

  • Are single-family homeowners
  • Own property in low-lying areas (ex. neighborhoods rather than high-rises)
  • Experience seasonal flood risk (ex. ice jams, flood after fire)
  • Live near visible flood hazards (ex. coastal areas, rivers, levees)
  • Live in communities that have experienced flooding in the past several years

With all new clients, look for opportunities to cross-sell. Many agents recommend providing a flood insurance quote with every new policy they write. Not only does this help protect you from Errors & Omissions lawsuits, but also assures clients that you’re looking out for all of their insurance needs.

Understand flood risk in your area

Looking for new customers in your community? Get to know your area’s flood risk.

By staying up to date on your community’s flood maps and recent flood history, you can help identify clients who are at an increased flood risk. For example:

  • Large residential areas inside or just outside of the high-risk flood area
  • Highly-populated areas that have flooded in the past several years
  • Neighborhoods or commercial areas near bodies of water or behind levees

Flood maps can help you identify these marketing and selling opportunities.

For tips, talking points, and resources on marketing and selling opportunities associated with flood risk map changes, visit Map Change: Keep Your Clients Up to Date.

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Selling tip: Partner with Homeowners Associations (HOAs) in your area to help raise flood risk awareness and identify new clients.

Partner with real estate agents, financial advisors, and lenders in your area

Making insurance decisions is an important step in buying a home. That’s why agents are encouraged to work closely with real estate agents, financial advisor, and local lenders to gain new clients referrals.

By making yourself available to answer questions, you will become a “go-to” resource for local real estate and lending professionals.

For example, partnering early in the point of sale can help real estate agents set realistic expectations for their clients about flood risk, required coverage, and costs. And by helping homebuyers realize key vulnerabilities in their coverage, you’re ensuring their largest asset is protected from day one – and demonstrating you have their interests at heart.

Review the potential homebuyer questions below and be prepared to answer the following:

  • What are the key features of a flood policy, including exclusions and special limits?
  • How can I make my home safer and reduce the cost of insurance?
  • How much will my policy cost? How are my rates determined?
  • What are my deductible options?
  • How much coverage should I consider to protect my financial security?
  • Where can I find out about this property’s flood risk and flood history?
  • When were the Flood Insurance Rate Maps last updated, and how might an update affect my flood insurance premium?
  • Will my flood insurance premium be different from the current owner’s?