Only 1% of the 2.3 million homes in the state of Indiana have flood insurance, according to the state’s insurance department, and that means big losses – about $40 million from 1998 to 2007, to be specific. With the heavy flooding the state has experienced so far this winter, those losses are likely to increase a lot.
In an effort to help insurance agents better protect their clients, the Indiana Department of Insurance has instituted mandatory Flood Insurance class for all agents working within the state. Agents already licensed are required to take at least three hours of continuing education on the subject, which must be completed by 2010, while new agents licensed on or after July 1st of this year must take the class before they can sell their first policy.
Jim Atterholt, Indiana’s Insurance Commissioner told reporters, “This is somewhat of a unique and complicated product, and I think it’s important that agents are properly trained to sell it.” He added that state insurance officials who have visited flood sites this year have been spending a lot of their time answering questions about flood insurance.
In most parts of the country, flood insurance is only required of your property lies in specific flood zones. The situation in Indiana shows that some people are missed, while others are experiencing flood-related issues outside the zones where flooding is expected.
Continuing education requirements are usual in the insurance and real estate industries, but it’s rare for specific courses to be mandated.