Canadian insurance companies are scrambling to meet demand for flood insurance coverage amid the severe floods in Texas and Florida.
Here’s how to get it.
(Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)
By Ryan DevereauxFor Newsweek The state farm insurance company that is the largest provider of flood insurance in the U.S. is reporting that the flood insurance costs for the past 12 months have more than doubled from the previous 12 months, as more than half of the flood damage is being caused by extreme weather.
The company, which has approximately 4,000 employees in the United States, told Newsweek that flood insurance premiums have increased by almost 20% from last year.
State Farm’s Insurance Administrator Tom Tingley told Newsweek he was not surprised by the news, as the company has been forecasting rising flood insurance prices for years.
“There’s always a way to raise premiums,” he said.
“It’s always been that way.”
Tingley also said that he believes that rising flood costs are due to the “weather event” of El Niño, which is typically the second or third strongest on record.
However, he said that this year’s El Niño is the most extreme and destructive on record, and that the weather has contributed to rising flood risk.
“I think there’s some overlap, but we do see a lot of El Niños,” he told Newsweek.
“We’ve had a lot more of these storms, more intense storms, and we’ve had the highest rainfall and flooding, both on the coast and in other places.”
Tigard, ColoradoThe company reported that it is facing a record-breaking number of flood claims.
The company said that flood rates have increased almost three times since January 1, the date that the government started reporting flood insurance claims.
The number of claims filed in the state rose by nearly 20% compared to last year, with about 60,000 flood claims filed.
According to State Farm, flood claims in Tigard increased by more than $6 billion over the past year, to more than 6,000,000 claims, or roughly 25% of the company’s total claims.
According to Tingle, that is more than double the rate of increase seen in most of the state’s other flood areas.
“In terms of the impact on Tigard, the impact is staggering,” Tingling said.
“[The flood insurance rate] is over a billion dollars.
We had about 4,500 claims, but now we have over 10,000 [claims].
We had less than 10,400 when we had 4,200.
And we have about a billion.”
The company also reported that a record number of storm-related claims have been filed in Colorado, with nearly 5,000 storms being registered in the past week alone.
The state’s insurance commissioner, Tom Graves, said that while he was pleased with the increase in flood claims, he also has concerns about how the government is collecting flood insurance information.
“The flood data that is collected is not being processed correctly,” Graves said.
Graves said that the number of storms being reported is being sent to a national database for processing, which could lead to errors in the data.
“We have the highest rate of false information in the nation,” Graves added.
“That’s why we need to have a data-collection system that can process this information accurately.”
Turing said that since January, the average flood insurance claim filed in Tigards county has increased by about $2,000 per claim.
The average annual increase in claims in the entire state of Colorado is $10,800 per year, according to Tingingley.
Tigards insurance commissioner also said he is concerned that people are getting too much flood insurance for their homes.
“Our goal is to keep flood insurance affordable for everybody,” Graves told Newsweek, adding that he wants to see people using the information that they are collecting to make better decisions.
The federal government will allow a small company to offer cheaper auto insurance for pets.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced Tuesday it will allow pet insurance companies to sell pet insurance through their websites and mobile apps, a move that would bring competition to the pet insurance market.
“This is the beginning of the end of a broken industry and the beginning, I think, of the beginning for a whole new era for pet owners,” AVMA President Scott Caccici said in a statement.
The organization said its members were encouraged to sign up for pet insurance.
The announcement comes as the federal government seeks to slash premiums for pet and family policies, and as some insurers have cut costs for pet policies.
“We’re working with states to find a way to expand access to affordable, high-quality pet insurance,” said Mike Balsam, chief executive of Pet Insurance Network, a company that helps pet owners access pet insurance, in a written statement.
The federal government is planning to slash premium rates for pet policyholders by an average of about 2 percent for 2017, and by 3 percent for 2018.
Some pet owners are pushing for the government to allow pet insurers to sell policies on their websites.
But other pet owners oppose the move, saying the government should only allow the carriers to sell insurance for animals.
In recent years, some insurers offered pet insurance plans for $250,000 to $300,000.
They were often more expensive than the current average pet insurance rates.
Many pet owners say the federal subsidy encourages pet insurance carriers to increase premiums.
Insurers are also asking the government for permission to expand their policies to include dogs and cats, or to offer higher-priced coverage for pets, which they say could help lower costs for families and small businesses.