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SCC News

SCC’s Bureau of Insurance Offers Post-Hurricane Season Flood Insurance Reminders

NOV 30, 2022

RICHMOND – Although the Atlantic Hurricane season ends November 30, the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) reminds Virginians that floods can happen anywhere and anytime – not just during hurricane season. Heavy rains, saturated soil, melting snow and ice, broken dams and a lack of vegetation due to wildfires or other causes are just a few factors that can contribute to flooding.

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, causing damages in the billions of dollars each year. Just one inch of water can cause as much as $25,000 damage to your home, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“It only takes a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and other property. Assess your flood risk and take steps now to protect yourself physically and financially from floods,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott White. “Having flood insurance can help you recover faster once the floodwaters recede.”

Standard homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not provide coverage for damage caused by floods, surface water or storm surge. However, coverage may be available to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through the NFIP. The federally-backed flood insurance offered through the NFIP provides separate coverage for structures and contents in the event of flood damage. In addition to the NFIP, flood insurance coverage may be available through some private insurers.

Advance planning is crucial since policyholders typically must wait 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1-800-427-4661, or visit floodsmart.gov. Be sure to ask whether your flood insurance policy covers your personal property.

Virginia residents should assess the risk of potential flood damage and determine if they live in a community eligible to participate in the NFIP.  If you live in a floodplain near a river, or if you live near the coast, it is especially important to consider the need for flood insurance coverage.

Unlike homeowners insurance, auto insurance usually does include damage caused by flooding provided you have “other-than-collision” (often referred to as “comprehensive”) coverage on your vehicle. In addition to water damage caused by flooding, comprehensive coverage typically helps pay to repair or replace vehicles if they are stolen or otherwise damaged by such things as fire, water, wind, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, falling objects or contact with an animal. Check your auto insurance policy or contact your insurance agent if unsure whether your vehicle is protected in the event of flood damage.

For questions or information about a variety of insurance-related topics, contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at 804-371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/insurance.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

 

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SCC Bureau of Insurance Encourages Virginians to Protect Themselves Financially Against Holiday Hazards

NOV 22, 2022

RICHMOND – The State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Bureau of Insurance wishes Virginians a happy and safe holiday. Good food, gifts, spirited greetings and gatherings with friends and loved ones – these are just a few of the things that create happy holiday memories. Unfortunately, seasonal hazards can dampen the holiday spirit. Protecting yourself financially with insurance is an important step to combat holiday mishaps.

The Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians that their holiday to-do list should include checking with their insurance agent or company to ensure they have the insurance coverage they need should an injury, illness, theft or mishap occur.

“Whether you are at home or on the road, don’t let a lack of insurance coverage dampen your holidays financially,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott White. “Review your insurance coverage now and update it, if needed. Know what is – and is not – covered and understand deductibles and coverage limits.”

In addition to reviewing your insurance coverage, take steps now to keep your home, vehicle and belongings safe during the holidays. Know how much your auto and homeowners insurance will cover if someone steals gifts, decorations or other items from your vehicle, home or yard. Know, too, what type of insurance you need if a special holiday meal or decorations go up in flames, an undercooked turkey sends guests to the hospital, or frozen pipes burst causing water damage to your home.

Before you travel, keep in mind that holiday driving can be a challenge with distracted drivers and severe winter weather. Keep your auto insurance company’s contact information and a copy of your insurance card with you when you drive. Review your liability limits to ensure you have adequate protection against injury or damage if you are involved in an accident during the hectic holiday rush.

Become familiar with what your health insurance will cover if you need treatment at an urgent-care facility or hospital while you are out-of-state or traveling abroad. Take health insurance information with you when traveling, such as identification cards and contact details for all family members.

Make an early New Year’s resolution to create – or update – your home inventory.  An inventory can help you determine if your homeowners or renters policy provides enough coverage for your belongings – as well as facilitate the claims process if you must file an insurance claim. An inventory also will help you identify high-cost items that may need separate insurance coverage, such as jewelry, art or electronics. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' free smartphone app — NAIC Home Inventory — makes creating a home inventory easy.

Also check that you have insurance coverage for seasonal activities that you may enjoy, such as skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

For information about a variety of insurance-related topics, contact the SCC’s Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at 804-371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance. Additional information also may be found on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.

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Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141

 

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