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NFIP Changes Needed as Hurricane Season Begins

Although hurricane season generally takes place between June and November each year, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that many businesses rely on for financial protection is set to expire on July 31. The extensive damage caused by major hurricanes in 2017 highlighted a number of issues with the program, and debate over potential reforms caused lawmakers to issue six short-term extensions to the NFIP since September 2017 instead of a comprehensive renewal.

Here are some changes that have been suggested to improve the NFIP:

  • Make private flood insurance more available to consumers.
  • Limit payments to properties that flood repeatedly.
  • Create financial incentives for flood risk mitigation.
  • Move toward a risk-based rate system.
  • Improve flood mapping programs.

While businesses continue to wait for flood insurance reform, it’s more important than ever to prepare for any risks from hurricanes, floods and other disasters. Here are some ways to prepare in advance:

  • Learn what types of disaster are most likely to affect your business. Even if your area isn’t prone to hurricanes or floods, you could still be at risk from fires or earthquakes.
  • Look over your insurance policies to see if there are any gaps in coverage. For example, some policies only provide coverage if a business is physically damaged.
  • Plan ahead for what your business will do if a disaster forces it to close for an extended period. Call us at (205) 758-4441 for resources and toolkits that can help you make a business continuity plan that includes property protection, employee training and the recovery process.