If you turn on the television, you may hear discussions about government shutdowns. How will that affect your homeowners insurance? Is your flood insurance still valid? These are all good questions to discuss with your insurance agent. Richard from Artisan Insurance was recently a guest on the Duncan Duo Real Estate Radio Show and this discussion came up.
The good news is that your insurance policies are still valid. The bad news is that should you happen to have a flood insurance claim, there may be many more steps that you might need to go through in order to have your claim finalized. Your house insurance is not affected if it is written through a private company.
If you are in the process of purchasing a house, or if you are a real estate professional, you will want to watch this issue closely. Flood insurance may be more difficult to obtain during a government shutdown since much of it is written through the NFIP which is basically a division of FEMA. There are many private flood insurance companies that might still be available during a shutdown, however you will want to check with your home insurance agent to see if they represent one of those companies.
If you are a real estate professional working in an area close to the water such as South Tampa or St Petersburg, you will want to work closely with your clients to make sure they obtain the required insurance long before their closing date so as not to cause any delays. If they wait until the last possible moment to shop for flood insurance and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a government shutdown, there could be problems. When we start hearing rumors of government shutdowns, we always tell the real estate professionals who we work with to coach their clients to shop for their flood insurance early and often.