Posted on May 19, 2014
There's no doubt that severe storms and flooding pose a significant threat to Mississippi residents and businesses. That's why appropriate flood insurance protection is so vital to keep businesses running in the event of flood damage.
Mississippi business owners face a unique situation in that many insurers hesitate to provide coverage to high risk coastal areas. That's why the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was developed to offer flood insurance protection to high risk clients when other insurance companies will not cover a particular area.
Recently in the Fall/Winter of 2011 Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark) tried to overturn legislation requiring the NFIP cover certain risk areas that have flood control structures such as levees and dams. Their belief is that this type of requirement would create economic hardship in areas already protected by flood controls. This flood insurance mandate they believe creates an unfair approach for residential and commercial properties.
Flood insurance maps also released for Mississippi created another stir in two northeastern Mississippi counties because they were designated flood zones. That means that flood insurance coverage would be mandated for those areas.
Also in February 2012, the Mississippi House of Representatives approved the hunting & fishing camp exemption from flood plain regulations meaning that they must remain in the National Flood Insurance Program. Presently the state exempts these properties from being up to flood code standards; whereas, federal law requires flood plain properties be built to code. FEMA has refused waivers for these properties so hunting and fishing property that is not code compliant will not be eligible to purchase flood insurance protection.
The NFIP suspension becomes effective May 5th, and the legislature and Insurance Commission are working to resolve this problem as it could create an increase in the wind pool premiums for the state.
Flood insurance protection for business buildings and contents is not required for all areas, but because of the risk to a large portion of Mississippi, business owners should consider applying for coverage to protect their assets. Because there is a 30 day waiting period before flood policies go into effect, the time to purchase flood insurance is well in advance of storm season.