Monday, June 28, 2010

Too Much for a Sound Bite

As an established insurance agent in my town, I was interviewed today for an article for the Victoria Advocate on the subject of Wind and Flood insurance.

Hurricane Alex (currently still a Tropical Storm) is entering the Gulf, so it and its affects are all the news that is worthy of print right now. Obviously, trying to discuss and convey an understanding about complex insurance contracts, their underwriting guidelines, legislative policy abuse, the affect of weather... you get the picture -- it just becomes a mess in the interpretation. So I thought I would set a little bit of it straight.

The biggest gaff, is that Flood Insurance does not cease to be available whenever a storm enters the gulf. What is true however, is that its purchase won't alleviate the damage pending from that particular storm because flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period, except when purchased as required by law when closing on a new home with a mortgagee. Secondly, it is true that the legislature has played political ping-pong again with this critically needed federal program, and again failed to extend it past its most recent moratorium last month. So nobody can purchase it for the time being.

Concurrent to this, the other happenstance is that casualty insurance ceases to be available generally in coastal counties of Texas, (and I believe the other coastal regions, because a tropical storm is encroaching on its coast. Whenever a tropical storm enters the gulf, or for many carriers, once it has simply passed North of 20 degrees and West of 80 degrees, they cease to offer new or additional coverage until its effects have passed inland. This is not only true of dwellings but even for autos and other lines of coverage.

So it provides for a bit of panic with last minute attempts to secure coverage on the part of some would-be opportunists or procrastinators. Either way, they are out of luck.

Since I hate getting mis-quoted, I don't know why I willingly try to be interviewed. Like so many issues in the news, whatever the medium, you can find the issue being misconstrued, or worse, misrepresented with unnecessary bias. The more complicated the issue being discussed... well you know how that goes. I just like to try to help educating the public whenever possible.