Business Insurance Account Executive
As Harvey persisted in its relentless pounding of already deluged southern Texas and rescuers continued their heroic work this week, the magnitude of the storm and its aftermath spread across the country the way floodwaters spread across Houston and its surrounding region.
This is a human, environmental and economic disaster of a scope unprecedented in U.S. history.
Thanks primarily to what appears to be sound disaster management by local, state and federal authorities — combined with the selfless efforts of countless volunteers — immediate loss of life has been mercifully low for a cataclysm so widespread. But the number of lives and properties suffering long-term damage may be incalculable.
- The insurance industry website PropertyCasualty360.com reports: "The storm may spur $1.59 billion in damages, according to catastrophe model results from Kinetic Analysis Corp., which said insured losses may be $1.11 billion."
- In a Bloomberg story published by Insurance Business America, an industry analyst said total costs associated with Harvey could reach as much as $100 billion.
- The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, cited data provider CoreLogic's calculation that "52% residential and commercial properties in Houston that are at high or moderate risk of flooding due to Hurricane Harvey were not in federally designated flood zones."
- As a result, according to a Bloomberg story published by Insurance Journal, insurance broker Aon Plc informed its clients: "It will take weeks until the full scope and magnitude of the damage is realized, [and it's already clear that] an abnormally high portion of economic damage caused by flooding will not be covered."
We understand why so many people choose not to purchase flood insurance for property located outside designated flood zones. Some think damage caused by rising water is covered by a standard homeowners or business insurance policy. (It isn't.) Some consider how long it's been since a flood has hit their area and conclude that the risk is minimal. (Possibly, but this is where a cost-benefit analysis is essential.) Others recognize the risk of flooding but can't afford or simply don't want to spend any more on insurance. (Who does?)
As trusted advisers to our clients, we generally recommend flood insurance, out of the carefully considered belief that it's in their best interest. It's a topic we at Sylvia Group regard seriously enough to have addressed in several previous blog posts:
- Do I need flood insurance even if I don't own coastal property?
- Is flood insurance worth the cost? Ask someone who's needed it.
- Don't be caught unprepared for flooding.
Ultimately, of course, the decision whether to purchase coverage is up to you. If you're still on the fence, this guide from Fox Business may help you decide: Five Steps to Assess Your Need for Flood Insurance. (One caveat: Since Fox published the article, the annual premium for coverage in a preferred zone, or Zone X, has risen from about $405 to about $515.)
If you determine you do need coverage for flooding, don't delay purchasing it. New flood policies typically have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect, though that still leaves you time protect your home or business before the conclusion of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season, which extends to November 30.
About Matthew Boyle, Jill White and Sylvia Group
A licensed insurance producer and Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR), Matthew Boyle is passionate about informing and educating his clients on the coverage they should consider and the products they ultimately purchase. Whether the need is boat or watercraft insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance or specialized coverage, he’s committed to designing customized programs that protect his clients and their assets. Matt appreciates meeting and working with new people on a regular basis, and with 15 years’ experience in personal insurance, the last eight as a successful sales executive, he enjoys sharing his expertise. As an independent agent working with the accomplished team at Sylvia Group, he’s able to offer clients options and resources unavailable through most other agencies and direct sellers.
Licensed as a Massachusetts Producer for property and casualty, life, and accident and health insurance, and certified as a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS) and Workers Compensation Advisor (CWCA), Jill White combines insurance training with knowledge gained from 15 years in the financial services industry to develop a thorough understanding of each client’s unique business needs and challenges. Devoted to protecting her clients, their businesses and everything they’ve worked hard to achieve, Jill conducts a full and thorough review of each business to ensure clients understand exactly what they’re paying for: which risks and exposures are covered, which aren’t and what gaps may exist. She then explores all available options and works with the client to design the insurance program that best fits the business’ strategic plans and goals.
Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a third-generation, locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.