WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Insurance Administration (FIA), a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has recognized several outstanding insurance and lending industry partners with special awards for their contributions to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
FIA Administrator Jo Ann Howard presented the awards at the annual National Flood Conference held May 16-19 in Denver, Colo., attended by 900 representatives of the banking and insurance industries, flood zone determination companies, local and state officials, and officials of FEMA. This year's conference focused on repetitive losses, the requirement for the mandatory purchase of flood insurance, underwriting, claims, legal issues, floodplain management and marketing.
The following awards honored the FIA's private sector partners for their accomplishments in promoting federal flood insurance:
The Agency of the Year Award was given to three insurance agencies for their intensive marketing strategies, superior policy growth, adherence to established underwriting guidelines, and participation in flood-awareness activities. The winners were Harry Kelleher and Co. of Metairie, La.; Insurance Associates of the Southwest, Houston, Texas; and Ron Rothert Insurance Services, Portland, Ore.
The Administrator's Club Award goes to those companies selling and servicing federally backed flood insurance that have achieved significant growth in new policies. The company with the highest percentage of growth and more than 2,000 new policies is also recognized with a trophy. This year's winners were Hartford Underwriters Insurance Co. (Administrator's Cup winner), USAA, Hartford Fire Insurance Co., National Lloyds Insurance Co. and IGF Insurance Co.
New this year, the Adminstrator's Quill Award recognizes the highest percentage of overall growth among the largest Write Your Own companies. The winner was Bankers Insurance Co., with 41,511 new policies by the end of the last fiscal year.
Winners of the Public Awareness Materials Contest were selected by the conference participants after viewing all the materials on display. The winners were Bankers Insurance Co. (brochure, poster and web site); USAA (envelope and mailing insert); Union American Insurance Co. (kit and Spanish language material); The Seibels Bruce Group, Inc. (print ad); Omaha Property and Casualty Co. (specialty item and newsletter); and National Con-Serv, Inc. (training material).
The Donald L. Collins Partnership Award is named for an FIA executive who died in 1995. During more than 20 years with the FIA, Collins fostered a close working relationship with the insurance industry and was largely responsible for the industry's goodwill toward the NFIP. The award was presented this year to insurance consultant Richard Decker of Hackettstown, N.J.
The Roy T. Short Memorial Award is given to an "innovative and inspiring" lender who has gone beyond the normal role of a lender in reducing flood losses, presented in memory of the former vice president of Bank United and of the National Lenders' Insurance Council. This year's recipient was Marc Moore, vice president of compliance for Fidelity National Flood, Inc. of Austin, Texas.
The NFIP makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations to reduce future flood damage. Nationwide, more than 4.1 million policies are in force in over 19,000 participating communities, representing more than $485 billion worth of coverage. The NFIP is a self-supporting program; claims and operating expenses are paid from policyholder premiums, not tax dollars. In the 30-year history of the NFIP, it has paid $9.3 billion in claims for flood losses.