WINDSOR, Conn. — How can flood insurance agents become better prepared to answer the many questions policyholders ask after a big flooding disaster like Hurricane Sandy?
That dialogue is taking place between FEMA and Connecticut insurance agents as a new outreach effort begun in December continues to expand the knowledge of agents who sell National Flood Insurance Program policies.
During the peak outreach from Jan. 14 – 25, FEMA will provide insurance agents with more in-depth training on National Flood Insurance Program policies, processes and risk management. The initiative will help insurance agents better serve Connecticut policyholders, property owners and renters who have questions about their flood insurance claims.
“It is important that consumers have all the facts about flood insurance so they can make informed decisions to manage risk and take control of their financial security. And it all starts with informed and knowledgeable insurance agents,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis.
FEMA flood insurance specialists expect to make in-person visits to more than 500 insurance agencies statewide during the two-week outreach initiative. They will hand-deliver hundreds of “NFIP Agent Tool Kits,” which include several information brochures and explanatory bulletins.
FEMA has made it a priority to conduct insurance agency visits in all the Connecticut coastal communities hit by Hurricane Sandy. As of Jan. 7, FEMA personnel have visited 69 agencies in 21 hard-hit communities. During this time FEMA will also be offering special NFIP informational webinars and agent training workshops.
The NFIP is a federal program that provides access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance protection for property owners.
Following Hurricane Sandy last year, FEMA kicked off a flood insurance education initiative in partnership with the state of Connecticut and the Independent Insurance Agents of Connecticut, Inc.
In December, FEMA opened a Flood Response Office at 1064 E. Main St., Meriden, CT 06450.
The office provides support to insurance agents and policyholders with questions about NFIP claims. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The office can be reached at 203-634-1118.
The Connecticut Insurance Department has a Consumer Helpline at 860-297-3900 or 800-203-3447. Policyholders can also e-mail their questions or complaints to the Insurance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Department’s Web site at www.ct.gov/cid.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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