Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Circular Letter No. 18 (2008) -- Re: Flood Insurance Notice Required by Section 3444 of the New York Insurance Law

I posted on flood insurance back on June 15th. Coincidental with the very rainy weather we've been experiencing during what may loosely be called this summer, and in response to the recent amendment of Insurance Law § 3444, applicable to all homeowners and dwelling fire personal lines policies issued or renewed on or after August 31, 2008, the New York State Insurance Department today issued Circular Letter No. 18 of 2008.

Effective August 31, 2008, every insurer must provide an annual notice (rather than only at policy inception) prescribed or approved by the Superintendent to all homeowner and dwelling fire insureds that explains that: (a) their policies do not provide coverage for loss caused by flood or mudslide; and (b) flood insurance is available under separate policies issued pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Program. The notice also must include information regarding flood insurance eligibility and access, and must be worded in a manner that does not alarm insureds or entice them into purchasing unnecessary coverage.

Here's the flood insurance notice that the Superintendent of Insurance has prescribed:

Your homeowners or dwelling policy does NOT provide coverage for loss caused by flood or mudslide, which is defined, in part, by the National Flood Insurance Program as:

A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters or from the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.

If you are required by your mortgage lender to have flood insurance on your property, or if you feel that your property is susceptible to flood damage, insurance covering damage from flood is available on most buildings and contents in participating communities through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Information about flood insurance and whether your community participates in the program can be obtained from your insurance company, from your insurance agent/broker, or directly from the National Flood Insurance Program by calling 1-800-638-6620 or via their website at

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