Private market flood insurance 'doesn’t have to be complicated'

Private market flood insurance 'doesn’t have to be complicated' | Insurance Business America

Private market flood insurance 'doesn’t have to be complicated'

This article was produced in partnership with Johnson & Johnson.

Karen Surca, of Insurance Business America, sat down with Paige Radakovich, vice president of sales, New York Region & Mid-Atlantic Region with Johnson & Johnson, to discuss the need for comprehensive and straightforward private flood insurance options considering recent National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) changes, as outlined in its current whitepaper.

Rising water levels naturally lead to higher rates when it comes to flood insurance. However, changes by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) announced earlier this year, point to even more increases in premiums for its insureds.

The recent NFIP changes have, at least, created the perfect storm for private insurers, opening the flood gates to a range of options that will ultimately provide choice and flexibility to the consumer.

However, given the leaks in the NFIP framework, private flood insurance may be a better fit for many when compared to the federal insurance alternative.

Changes in the flood insurance landscape served as the primary motivation for Johnson & Johnson, a leader in flood insurance, to author a recent whitepaper entitled Flood Rates are on the Rise.

With the goal of highlighting the advantages that private flood coverage can offer an insured, as well as drawing attention to Johnson & Johnson’s streamlined flood insurance approach, the whitepaper is geared toward insurance professionals who may be looking for some clarity as they seek to offer private options not provided by the NFIP.

“I think that it [the whitepaper] can help agents better sell flood insurance by being able to see the different coverage options with the different private market carriers to be able to educate their policyholders on why they would place them with a private market carrier versus the NFIP,” Paige Radakovich, vice president of sales, New York Region & Mid-Atlantic Region with Johnson & Johnson, said.

Expanding flood insurance presence

Not only are private flood insurance coverage options expanding in the market, but so is Johnson & Johnson’s presence on the East Coast.

Read next: NFIP: National vs private flood insurance

A family-owned and operated wholesale broker founded in 1930 in Charleston, South Carolina, Johnson & Johnson has expanded its presence to now represent a coastal player with a presence in Florida and the Gulf Coast all the way up to Maine.

“Johnson & Johnson is really looking to expand our presence in New York, specifically upstate New York,” Radakovich stated.

“We felt that the whitepaper would be a creative way to get both Johnson & Johnson’s name out and our flood insurance product information out to agents in the regions that we are looking to expand in.

“It [the whitepaper] can help to explain what Johnson & Johnson is doing to make flood insurance a little bit easier for our partners in New York,” Radakovich described.

“In New York, for example, the average claim payment from 1996 to 2019 is $38,000, which is not a small amount to an insured and the policyholder.”

Flooding with insurance technology

Also highlighted in the whitepaper are the fast-moving changes taking place in the private flood space reflected in the speed of doing business and the expansion of private flood coverage options.

As technology has met the needs of flood insurers, insureds are demanding quicker quoting times.

“Johnson & Johnson make it really easy to get multiple options for flood insurance by just entering information one time,” Radakovich said, “Our website technology allows us to quote and bind online, direct bill, and download policy data to agents more efficiently.”

Read next: Millions to pay more for flood insurance-report

Traditionally, flood insurance has also proved to be quite a labor-intensive process, Radakovich noted. Johnson & Johnson, cognizant of this reality, has worked to overcome those challenges through its unique business model.

“We are very much a technology and service-driven organization. We have really taken a traditional internet business and made it more efficient to offer download on surplus lines business, which is unique from a wholesale perspective,” Radakovich said.

Find out more: Read the whitepaper now

The whitepaper highlights that with new advancements in modelling and risk assessment, Johnson & Johnson has been able to provide more accurate pricing for individual risk and, by doing so, simplify the quoting experience.

“We have designed an innovative flood platform that will price all our primary and excess markets with one submission,” Radakovich explained.

The less time it will take to get a quote, the whitepaper outlines, the more time is freed up for agents to sell, which will ultimately increase and drive revenue for the agents.

“It doesn’t take that long, and it is not hard to quote and bind a flood policy with Johnson & Johnson versus the traditional NFIP method,” Radakovich stated.

Flooding the market with options

Johnson & Johnson is devoting time towards educational initiatives that go beyond the whitepaper including hosting webinars by its flood team, as well as providing one-on-one visits with its agents to update them on products and market developments.

“We are a one-stop-shop for solutions,” Radakovich said.

“There’s a lot of coverage differences and enhancements available in the private market that are not available with the NFIP,” she added.

“Private flood insurance doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Read the full whitepaper now.

Paige Radakovich is the vice president of sales for Johnson & Johnson in the Mid-Atlantic and New York Region (DE, MD, NJ, NY, and PA.) She is responsible for managing agency relationships and leading a team of outside sales representatives. Originally from Northern Virginia, Paige kickstarted her career in insurance in Boston, MA having recently re-located to the Philadelphia area to manage her new territory.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in international studies from Appalachian State University.