Help Your Clients Prepare for Flooding

When flood season approaches, agents have an important role to play in helping clients prepare for potential flooding.

As a general rule, agents should market and sell flood insurance policies year-round. However, as an area’s flood risk season approaches, agents are encouraged to ramp up their marketing efforts. For example, you can reach out at the start of hurricane season, before predicted spring snowmelt, or after a wildfire to ensure clients are prepared for possible flood events.

However, because flood insurance typically takes 30 days to go into effect, agents should avoid marketing flood insurance immediately before (or after) a flood event, as the focus should be on preparedness or recovery.

Instead, during your region’s flood risk season, when flooding is likely to be top-of-mind, reach out to your clients to encourage them to take crucial loss avoidance steps and to assure them that you’ll be there after the flood.

Also, in anticipation of a possible flood insurance claim, make sure your clients have the following information on-hand and in a secure, waterproof location:

  • Their agent’s name and the name of their insurance company
  • Their flood insurance policy number
  • Their Policy Declarations Page, if available
  • The name of their mortgage company
  • How their agent can best be reached after an event

Documentation 101

Encourage your clients to keep an up-to-date, waterproof or digital record of their household items and valuable belongings.

Clients should take photos and videos of their appliances, fixtures, and the interior and exterior structure of their property. If they have purchased contents coverage, they should also take photos and videos of their belongings, including inside cabinets and closets. If possible, clients are advised to keep samples or swatches of carpeting, wallpaper, furniture upholstery, and window treatments.

hand writing with a pen

In the event of flooding, this documentation will help your clients file a claim and submit a Proof of Loss to recover more quickly.

Flood loss avoidance

palm tree blowing in storm

When flooding is forecast or imminent, encourage clients to take flood loss avoidance measures that can help minimize flood damage and losses.

Your client’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy will cover up to $1,000 in reasonable expenses to protect your client’s insured property, and up to $1,000 to move your client’s insured property away from a flood or imminent danger of a flood.

What is eligible?

Expenses to protect or move insured property, including:

  • Sandbags, including the sand to fill them
  • Fill to create temporary levees
  • Water pumps
  • Plastic sheeting and lumber
  • Boxes and packaging materials
  • Moving, transportation, or shipping costs
  • Labor, including your own or a family member’s labor, at the federal minimum wage. Labor charged by a professional may also be reimbursed.

Note: Personal property that is moved must be placed in a fully enclosed building or otherwise protected from the elements.

palm tree blowing in storm

For more information, including eligibility and requirements for paid receipts, review FEMA’s Flood Loss Avoidance fact sheet.