Wading into Flood Waters:
Easily one of the most discussed topics on Hilton Head revolves around flood insurance and the impact of preliminary flood map changes recently released by FEMA. When does the change take effect? Will my flood insurance cost increase or decrease? Do I even need flood insurance? These are some of the questions being asked of area insurance professionals.
The good news is, based on the preliminary maps released by FEMA, the majority of residents on Hilton Head will benefit from the map change. These proposed changes will result in lower base flood elevation requirements and zone changes, which should create a positive impact on the cost of flood insurance. The timing for implementation is still a bit unclear . by the best estimates, the changes could take place this Fall/Winter of 2020, but having been around the National Flood Insurance Program for over 13 years, delays are not uncommon. It's important to stress that given our proximity to the coastline, the potential for flooding continues to exist and should be taken seriously. For this reason, I recommend you work with a qualified insurance professional that has the knowledge to put in place a risk management strategy that maximizes available coverage.
Specialized private market flood insurance programs continue to gain energy in the marketplace. These programs often times provide more accurate pricing for flood risk , offer substantially improved coverage and in many cases a better claims experience. I'll acknowledge that private flood insurance is not a fit for all clients but it continues to be an important option for many clients I serve.
Remember , in order to create an insurance portfolio that reacts as intended and eliminates the element of surprise when catastrophe hits, take the time to work with a knowledgable insurance and risk management professional.
Marc Ricciardi is a Family Risk Manager and he is Vice President of McGriff Insurance Services here on Hilton Head Island. If you would like to know more feel free to reach to Marc. He can be reached at 843-815-0526.