Insurance software firm Vertafore has formed a partnership with flood insurance policy processing firm StoneRiver National Flood Services (NFS) to provide independent agents a new way to quote and cross-sell flood insurance when selling homeowners insurance.
The partnership integrates NFS’s flood quoting platforms for carriers with Vertafore’s real-time comparative rating module for agencies known as PL Rating. The combination provides a premium indication and personalized flood proposal on all homeowner insurance quotes. It also enables agents to complete a flood policy with their carriers represented by NFS without re-keying information since the data to produce a flood quote is captured in the homeowner workflow of PL Rating. The personalized proposal includes the home’s estimated risk of flood, potential losses from flood, a premium indication and a waiver of responsibility.
NFS has relationships with more than two-thirds of the carriers that write flood insurance, and provides technology to flood insurers participating in the NFIP, according to the announcement.
Vertafore PL Rating provides more than 1.5 million homeowner insurance quotes annually and also has relationships with many of the same carriers NFS does business with through Vertafore PL Rating.
The firms say that this synergy provides additional time savings and efficiencies for agencies already working with carriers that sell flood insurance where agents had not yet approached them regarding this market opportunity.
The new option will be available in the second quarter of this year.
Since most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods, those requiring flood protection must purchase an additional policy either in the private flood market or, far more commonly, through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has approximately 5.5 million policies in force. However, fewer than 10 percent of homeowners carry flood insurance, according to government figures.
“Most homeowners can get a flood insurance policy for under $400 a year, and yet a six inch high flood in a 2,000 sq. ft. house could easily cost a homeowner $40,000 if they are uninsured,” said Keith Brown, CEO of NFS. “Considering that 90 percent of all disasters include flooding, it is imperative that agents provide homeowners a risk assessment and all insurance options.”
“By connecting Vertafore’s comparative rating distribution with the flood quoting functionality of NFS, agents and carriers that use NFS as their processing partner will benefit from an easier and quicker way to grow their flood insurance business. At the same time ensuring their customers get the coverage they need,” said Dave Acker, vice president, Strategic Market Development for Vertafore.
Industry experts say that insurance agencies are at risk of errors and omissions (E&O) exposure if they are not offering flood coverage.
The partnership was announced at the Network of Vertafore Users (NetVu) Conference in Nashville.
Also at NetVu, Vertafore reported there has been significant adoption of cloud insurance technology AgencyEDGE that automates insurance agency license management and protects them from expensive reinstatement fees.
According to the firm, in the last six months more than 700 agencies have begun using the licensing management module, bringing the total number of agencies using the software to over 1,000. Prior to AgencyEDGE, most agencies were using Excel spreadsheets or a home-made solution for tracking agency licenses.