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OLDWICK, N.J.–in this A.M.BestTV episode from the RMS Exceedance 2018 conference in Miami, modelers and risk experts say current U.S. flood designations do little to distinguish depth of flooding, and maps draw stark, sometimes inaccurate, distinctions between flood and non-flood regions. Click on http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=exceedance5518 to view the entire program.
“They might take steps to reduce the risk to bring their premiums down.”
The panelists also spoke about the hurdles involved in understanding flood risk amid the backdrop of the looming expiration date on the federal backstop.
“The way that the pricing works in the National Flood Insurance Program is you get one price that is across the entire flood zone,” said Matthew Nielsen, senior director of global governmental and regulatory affairs at RMS. “That does two things. One is that people in the same flood zone are charged the same price. There’s not really an understanding of how severe the flood could be. The second is that there is no real understanding of how much the government is subsidizing the amount of flood insurance that you’re paying. What that does is it hides the risk that people are bearing when they get their policies.”
“If prices reflected truly the risk, then policyholders would know what danger their property is in,” said Emma Watkins, head of exposure management, The Channel Managing Agency. “They might take steps to reduce the risk to bring their premiums down.”
Cliff Roberti, managing principal, Federal Hall Policy Advisors, said he expects lawmakers will come to an agreement on extending the federal flood insurance program, though perhaps not before the expiration date.
“In the meantime, there are a lot of things FEMA is doing administratively to bring their program into the 21st century … despite the fact that Congress is unable to get together on a bipartisan compromise for now.”
For full video coverage of the RMS Exceedance 2018 conference, including exclusive executive interviews, visit
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A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.