PHILADELPHIA – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be hosting the Virginia Flood Insurance Partners Roundtable. FEMA, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) planned and coordinated the roundtable to bring together key stakeholders to discuss insurance. This meeting includes local, state, federal, and private sector partners, including Virginia state agency partners, floodplain managers, emergency managers, realtors, lenders, and insurance agents from across the Commonwealth to engage in a critical discussion on increasing flood insurance coverage in Virginia and reducing flood risk.
“Hurricanes Florence and Michael showed the impact flooding can have on all regions of the Commonwealth” stated Jeff Stern, State Coordinator of Emergency Management for VDEM. “Flood risks from these events and others are very real, and this workshop will build bridges with key partners to reduce those risks across Virginia.” This unique opportunity allows for an open discussion concerning past flooding events, the risk of future flooding, and the importance of having flood insurance. Roundtable activities will kick-off in the morning with a panel featuring state and local representatives discussing their experience with flooding and insurance, and how to ensure more Virginians prepare for and mitigate against flood threats.
“No matter where you live in Virginia, it’s important to know your flood risk and have coverage to protect your home or business,” stated Clyde Cristman, DCR Director. “This event brings together critical stakeholders in insurance and floodplain management to find ways to raise awareness about flood insurance in the Commonwealth.” The panel session will look at how different industry players also communicate risk to their stakeholders and how collectively the group can grow flood insurance coverage across Virginia. This will also include a discussion on updates to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
In the afternoon session, breakout groups will focus on growing partnerships between the federal, state, local and private sectors, local floodplain management, insurance affordability, perception and communication of flood risks, and the value of flood insurance in helping communities recover from disasters. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover damages from floods. “Flood insurance provides the best protection against financial ruin after a flood. Getting just one inch of water in your home could cost more than $25,000. The roundtable highlights both the need for insurance and the importance of working with our state, local, federal, and private sector partners on reducing flood risk,” stated FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Flooding can happen at any time, and insurance can help property owners to rebuild and recover faster and more resiliently.”
With the partners attending the roundtable, FEMA, DCR, VDEM, the SCC and HRPDC hope to broaden the conversation on reducing the risk of future flooding, increasing the number of residents covered by flood insurance, and to establish productive partnerships with insurance stakeholders in Virginia.
The roundtable event is followed by an open house, which features information tables and subject matter experts who are available to answer consumer questions about flood risk and insurance. “We continue to work with the private sector and government partners to communicate flood insurance and risk in Virginia,” stated Don Beatty, Deputy Commissioner for Policy & Compliance at the SCC. “You should discuss the desirability of buying flood insurance with your agent.” The open house will also allow individuals to review current flood maps and discuss hazard mitigation which can reduce their risk to flooding. Consumers with questions about private flood insurance can contact the Bureau of Insurance Property and Casualty Division at (804) 371-9185 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or at BureauOfInsurance@scc.virginia.gov.
The NFIP aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. The 2018 Flood Insurance Roundtable events represent FEMA Region III’s close partnerships with all of our states to reduce flood risk and ensure property owners and communities are more resilient to future flooding.
To learn more about DCR’s Floodplain Management Program, please visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/floods. To learn more about your flood risk, access the Virginia Flood Risk Information System at www.dcr.virginia.gov/vfris.
To learn more about VDEM, please visit www.VAemergency.gov/.
To learn more about the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, please visit www.hrpdcva.gov/.
To learn more about the NFIP and how to purchase flood insurance, please visit www.FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program and www.Floodsmart.gov. To learn more about FEMA Region III, please visit www.FEMA.gov and www.FEMA.gov/region-iii.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.