Recovery From Hurricane Florence Underway

The recovery process from Hurricane Florence is underway in hard-hit North Carolina, where there's a lack of properties covered by flood insurance.

As the waters recede in North Carolina, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds residents to take lots of pictures of the damage, read insurance policies and speak with agents to determine coverage, and be wary of door-to-door contractors.

The state will set up "insurance camps" where insurers can help people file claims, as well as Victim Assistance Centers with federal and state officials on hand to answer questions.

READ: NC, FEMA, NFIP Set Up Victim Assistance Centers

Causey says, "It's flooding on the scale we've never seen before in North Carolina. In many areas it's worse than Matthew, and in some areas it's worse than Hurricane Floyd." Speaking about the low penetration of flood insurance among residents, he says, "This should be a wake-up call for people. It's relatively inexpensive unless you are in a very low lying flood zone."

Florence Exposes Flood Insurance Gap

As Hurricane Florence leaves behind flooding in its wake, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis say now is the time for residents to check their insurance policies and consider buying flood insurance before the next storm strikes.

"The images of the flood damages and losses I saw when traveling the state following Hurricane Irma will forever be ingrained in my memory," says Patronis. Altmaier adds, "Last year, reports indicated a vast majority of Florida's residences were inadequately insured. Floridians must review their insurance policies, understand their coverages, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure they are adequately covered." He also points out there are some private flood insurers offering coverage outside the National Flood Insurance Program, sometimes at a lower cost.

PHOTOS: 10 Photos reveal the extent of Hurricane Florence's damage

Only 35% of properties in flood hazard areas were insured in North Carolina, The Associated Press reported. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect – so if you wait, it could be too late.

September Is National Preparedness Month

As part of PIA's ongoing partnership with The Hartford's flood insurance program, we are proud to provide PIA members with the latest Flood Agent eNewsletter produced by The Hartford for its flood insurance agents. This month's contents address the October 1 NFIP changes, NFIP resource library, and additional claims help for Harvey Damages.

In addition to The Hartford's eNewsletters, PIA members visiting PIA's Flood Insurance Marketing Support Center can download flyers to help their personal lines and commercial lines clients prepare for floods, deal with the aftermath of flooding, and how to prepare for a visit by an adjuster.

PIA thanks The Hartford for making these excellent materials available to all PIA members, regardless of their participation in PIA's flood insurance program with The Hartford.

PIA members who want to earn great flood insurance commissions while working with a top-flight Write-Your-Own flood insurance company should consider the PIA/Hartford flood insurance program.

To learn more:

Self-Driving Cars Hit a Speed Bump

Less than half of Americans (43 percent) are interested in utilizing self-driving cars, down from 53 percent last year, according to the fourth annual Sharing Economy Index released by Allianz Global Assistance. The lack of interest is primarily attributed to safety concerns (71 percent in 2018, compared to 65 percent in 2017), while other reasons include cost/budget, lack of familiarity and bad publicity. Recent high-profile crashes involving self-driving cars have dampened America's confidence and excitement over auto-piloted vehicles. In March, two self-driving vehicles were involved in fatal accidents.

Companies continue to invest billions of dollars into autonomous vehicle technology, despite the recent fatal crashes – and despite continuing skepticism on the part of the public that they are somehow a good idea. A Pew Research Center survey found that 39 percent said they were not sure whether the vehicles would make roads safer or more dangerous, and 87 percent favored requiring that a human always be behind the wheel to take control if something goes awry.

"Based on consumer perceptions, our survey reveals an uncertain future for self-driving cars," says Daniel Durazo, director of communications, Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Many Americans are far from being convinced that self-driving cars can be operated safely on our streets. As our Future of Travel survey last year indicated, more travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving vehicle."

Retain Ownership of Your Book of Business with PIA Market Access

PIA Market Access is a wholesale market access program that will help PIA members access over 50 nationwide and specialty personal and commercial lines markets from a number of admitted "A" or better-rated companies. Agents submitting applications through the platform can receive quotes from most of these companies through a technologically advanced personal and commercial lines rater.

PIA has negotiated an exclusive low monthly rate for the use of our partner InsureZone's technology and market access. Agents who enroll in the PIA Market Access Program will receive the first two months free. Agents can expect to see competitive commission rates.

PIA members participating in the PIA Market Access Program will retain ownership of their book of business, and if they should choose to leave the program, there are no exit fees.

InsureZone is a full-service provider that is fully staffed with underwriters to answer agents' questions and make the sales process as smooth as possible. The program provides insurance CSRs to make requested policy changes and the standard of service is to begin processing all requests the same business day.

For a current list of carriers available in each state, please refer to the Carrier page at

PIA Market Access is available to PIA members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Carrier availability varies by state.