WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Insurance Agents can take advantage of state-of-the-art, interactive training on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website, Federal Insurance Administrator Jo Ann Howard announced today. In-depth training on the new flood insurance Elevation Certificate (EC) introduced last May is the first of a series of on-line training being developed by the NFIP that insurance producers can use on their own computers at their convenience, 24 hours a day, Howard said. The training can be accessed through the NFIP's website.
The self-paced, interactive design allows agents to skip over material they already know and concentrate on areas that need more emphasis. Frequent practical exercises help agents to check and reinforce their learning. The comprehensive training module contains multiple links to other resources, such as the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual, and also incorporates an annotated EC that can be used as a handy reference. Upon completing the module and passing a mastery test, agents will receive a letter of completion from the NFIP.
"This simple but practical approach to learning will enhance insurance agents' ability to provide complete service to their clients, as well as help to eliminate costly errors and omissions claims," Howard said.
The Federal Insurance Administration, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), developed its new EC after gathering comments from surveyors, architects, floodplain managers, Write Your Own companies and insurance agents. Instructions have been clarified, building diagrams revised, and detailed questions added about property location, Flood Insurance Rate Map data and survey results.
The revised EC provides space to describe the building's use and an option to provide latitude and longitude coordinates. New elevation requirements have been added to the EC. Agents will determine the lowest floor by comparing the surveyor's information with that provided by the property owner for consistency.
Additional training in the use of the revised EC will be offered at NFIP agent workshops across the country. Schedules and registration information for all workshops during the period August-December 2000 are listed at the NFIP workshop page.
The new EC form and instruction packet are available from the FEMA Distribution Center at 1-800-480-2520 (ask for FEMA Form 81-31). They are also included in the May 2000 revision to the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual and can be viewed or downloaded.