Legislative Briefing June 13th

Legislative Briefing June 13th

‘What the Flood!’ NAIC Quiz Helps Americans Understand Flood Insurance

From NAIC – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released a new online quiz, “What the Flood!,” as part of its #YourRiskIsReal campaign, an ongoing effort to educate consumers about flood risks and the need to consider purchasing flood insurance. The #YourRiskIsReal campaign educates consumers about flood risks and dispels dangerous misconceptions about flood insurance.

The short, interactive quiz presents complicated insurance concepts in easy-to-understand terms. Sample questions include: “Is damage from a busted bathroom pipe and a burst levee covered by the same policy?” and “If a hurricane floods your car, do you file a claim with auto or home?”

“There’s a lot of confusion out there about insurance coverage for water-related damage. Insurance Commissioners want consumers to understand which insurance covers the various flood perils, ” said Eric Cioppa, NAIC President and Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance.

According to a recent national survey sponsored by NAIC, 41% of Americans agree or strongly agree that flood insurance is a “good idea,” yet only 17% say they have purchased flood insurance. (Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) estimates that only about 3% have flood protection.)

Flood insurance policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and on the private market.

Some erroneous beliefs about flood insurance commonly held by consumers include:

Myth: My homeowners insurance covers me against floods.
Reality: Most homeowners and business insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding.

Myth: FEMA assistance is just as good as an insurance policy.
Reality: Not everyone will qualify for FEMA assistance after a disaster, and grants (averaging less than $8,000) are not enough to cover all costs after a flood.

Myth: My home will be fine once it dries out.
Reality: Flooding can damage the foundation of a house, as well as the walls and subfloors, causing mold and other problems. Fixing the damage is expensive.

The survey was conducted online by Engine among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,004 adults, including 502 men and 502 women age 18 and older. This survey was live May 20-22, 2019. Raw data was weighted by age, sex, geographic region, race and education to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 and older.

The NAIC, together with FEMA, will host a Twitter chat from 2 to 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 18. Responding to questions in real time, @NAIC will lead the chat focusing on disaster preparedness (floods, wildfires and other events) using the hashtag #YourRiskIsReal.

Survey document links:
Click here for survey methods and summary (docx)
Click here for survey results (xlsx)

National Flood Insurance Program

On June 11 the House Financial Services Committee voted unanimously 59-0, to approve HR 3167: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Reauthorization Act, sending the bill to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. The Act, but does little to achieve, Chairman Waters and ranking member McHenry’s commitment to sustainable reform. The language broadly addresses affordability, mitigation incentives, and transparency, relying almost entirely on future agency rulemaking to provide the operative structure. It directs FEMA, HUD, and Treasury to collaboratively design, implement, and report on a “demonstration program” to explore “the effectiveness of providing means-tested discounted rates”, not to exceed 2 percent of area median income, for insuring the primary residences of policyholders with income below 80 percent of area median income. It also directs FEMA to consult state and community authorities in developing within five years of its enactment a “digital display environment” as part of the National Structure Inventory “using the most current and most appropriate remote sensing or other geospatial mapping technology” to provide structure-specific flood risk data. Louisiana Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, who will be principal gatekeepers for House flood insurance language on its way across the Capitol, were unimpressed with the draft due to its exclusion of the various reform priorities, especially with regard to repetitive loss properties and the program’s existing debt, they have asked the Senate Banking Committee to explore.

Town/County Updates

Currituck County
Ban on Oceanfront Pools?
The Currituck County Planning Board met June 11 and heard a summary from staff of the public comment received May 30 on the proposed dune protection plan. Staff emphasized home builder and realtor association concerns about resulting nonconformities and described their continuing efforts to develop county-wide impact assessments for a range of setback options using Currituck’s geographic information system. A previously scheduled Board of Commissioners work session on this issue on June 17 has been cancelled. Planning Board members offered no commentary on the staff update.

Dare County
Proposed Hatteras Village Zoning Change
The Dare County Planning Board met June 10 to discuss a zoning amendment sought by SAGA Construction for height and lot coverage increases accommodating of plans for a seven-story hotel intended as the centerpiece of an extensive mixed-use development in Hatteras Village including condos, retail and restaurant space, and an oceanfront pier. Public comment largely acknowledged the importance of the project to reversing Hatteras’s economic decline following Hurricane Isabel, but emphasized residents’ interest in a project that conformed to current code. The height of the proposed hotel, and of potential future projects for which it might set precedent, were primarily at issue. SAGA CEO Sumit Gupta spoke to the importance of the proposed height to his interest in maximizing water views, but also to the essentiality of villagers’ support to the project’s success. Planning Board members sought to determine whether SAGA’s plans for a hotel were conditional on the code amendments and appeared satisfied by Mr. Gupta’s clarification that a five story hotel would remain a viable investment. In light of public opposition to the project as currently construed, Mr. Gupta withdrew SAGA’s request and resubmit revised plans at a later date.

Brubaker to Participate at Dare County Commissions Hearing on June 19th
Dan Brubaker, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s NFIP Coordinator, will participate in a July 19 meeting at the Dare County Commissioners hearing room at 9:00 a.m. with local officials, builders, surveyors, and engineers. The meeting is intended to ensure uniform and comprehensive understanding of building diagram requirements and elevation certificates.

Town of Southern Shores
Town of Southern Shores Considers Restricting “Events” in homes to 3 Per Year
The Town of Southern Shores Planning Board will meet on June 17 at 5:30 p.m. to consider revisions to its proposed special events ordinance.

Thursday June 13
7:00 p.m. – Kitty Hawk Planning Board

Friday June 14
8:30 a.m. – Outer Banks Relief Foundation

Monday June 17
5:00 p.m. – Dare County Board of Commissioners
5:30 p.m. – Southern Shores Town Council
6:00 p.m. – Currituck County Board of Commissioners

Tuesday June 18
9:00 a.m. – Nags Head Planning Board
6:30 p.m. – Kill Devil Hills Planning Board

Wednesday June 19
12:00 p.m. – Duck Planning Board Workshop
4:00 p.m. – Manteo Planning Board Workshop
6:00 p.m. – Nags Head Board of Commissioners

Thursday June 27
National Ethics Day with Leigh Brown

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