This week, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) its new national marketing campaing, FloodSmart, which is designed to educate consumers about the risks of flooding and the benefits of flood insurance, as well as to provide WYO companies with marketing resources, and drive leads to help agents increase sales.
To benefit fully from the marketing push, NFIP advises insurance agents to visit www.fema.gov/nfip to update their information and be listed in the leads database.
The campaign is sponsored by the NFIP, the flood insurance coverage and floodplain management program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). New television spots, direct mail, a toll-free consumer telephone hotline, and a new Web site, www.FloodSmart.gov, all direct consumers to nearby agents for flood insurance information and resources.
According to NFIP, the new homeowners television spot features a warning that homeowners insurance does not cover floods. The spot is scheduled to air on 16 national cable channels, including MSNBC, Fox News, and The Weather Channel.
The new Web site, www.FloodSmart.gov, provides information on preparing homes for the possibility of flooding, a tool for assessing your flood risk, help in estimating the cost of flood insurance premiums, listings of local insurance agents, and links to other community-based information. Plus, the toll-free number, (800) 427-2419 has operators to help consumers locate a local insurance agent or additional information on flood insurance.
FloodSmart will also provide a range of direct marketing tools to help boost sales; including fact sheets, fulfillment brochures, and information on different policy options. According to NFIP, the campaign complements NFIP insurance training activities such as insurance agent workshops, Web-based training, and the National Flood Conference.
“The NFIP is committed to being more customer-centric,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “This campaign is part of our overall effort to provide better customer information through all phases of the flood consequence management cycle and enhanced training for agents, adjusters, and others representing the NFIP.”
Why FloodSmart is essential
Flood insurance provides important protection. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, causing more than $7.1 billion in U.S. property damage in the last 10 years. Flooding can occur at any time of the year in all 50 states, and not just in those areas considered to be high flood-risk. One in four flood insurance claims is submitted in a low or moderate flood risk zone.
What agents can do
With full knowledge of available products for commercial and residential customers, agents can provide their customers the coverage option to best meet their needs, expand their customer base, and reduce their E&O exposure. The NFIP recommends that agents take the following steps:
* Review their current portfolio of policyholders, both commercial and residential.
* Identify customers who may qualify for flood insurance products (such as Preferred Risk Policies for properties in lower-risk flood zones, or standard Flood Insurance Policies for properties in high-risk zones).
* Visit www.fema.gov/nfip to be placed on the NFIP mailing list for additional news and updates and to be included in the NFIP leads database.