First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 AM on 4/18, issued at 10:44 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Bit of a Heat Wave... Weekend Front... Jags' Forecast.... Flood Insurance Quotes

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Updated: 10/16/2013 10:18 pm

A few very warm days ahead. We will begin each day through Sat. with areas of fog, locally dense then the sun & light south to SE winds will push temps. well into the 80s -- well above the avg. of 80 degrees & not too far from record highs of 91 degrees for Thu. & Fri.

A weak cool front will settle into the area over the weekend bringing a few showers, but it's not looking like a lot of rain. Humidity will be higher but temps. will come down some -- mid 80s Sat. & near 80 degrees Sunday. There's some chance for rain of more significance early next week as upper level disturbances work in tandem with the nearby front though forecast models are not yet on the same page regarding exact location & intensity of the heavier rain.

So we'll have the front to deal with for the Jags' game Sunday afternoon against the Chargers. Kickoff is at 1pm: Partly to mostly cloudy, a few showers, E/NE breeze 5-10 mph & temps. in the mid to upper 70s.

The recent headlines regarding increasing flood insurance rates has many home owners that have to pay flood insurance concerned. Solace Insurance offers this advice:

Arm yourself with some knowledge—knowing the right questions to ask—can go a long ways.  Flood insurance rates are property-specific and are based on specific statistics.  First and foremost, you should know your statistics.  If you are in a Special Flood Hazard Area and have your elevation certificate, and if you are in preferred zones, take advantage of more reasonable rates to protect your investment, at $35.00 a month or less.

The next best thing you can do to be sure you’re covered correctly is to choose your insurance company wisely.  Ensure you’re getting quality coverage and accurate information from your insurance agent by asking these questions:

1.    How much training do you do per year?

Some professional insurance agents need 10 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) per year for licensure, while others need up to 24 hours.  Solace Insurance puts a priority on continuing education for its agents.  The average hours of extra training Solace agents are required to have is 104 hours per year, per person, in addition to their own required CEUs, which include product and industry training.  For issues such as current flood insurance changes, agents have been taking classes months ahead of time to stay up-to-date.  Bob Childress, founder and CEO of Solace Insurance, says that continuing education is key to staying on top of industry standards and regulations.  “Required CEUs for licensing should be the baseline of an agency’s educational standard,” he stated.

2.    How long have you been licensed or selling flood insurance?

All you need to do is ask the agent how many flood policies he or she has in force, and how many they write in a month.  If the policies in force are over 100 and they write 2 to 5 per month, then you have an agent who knows a little about flood insurance.  The ultimate measure of flood knowledge would be whether the agent possesses an Associate in National Flood Insurance (ANFI) designation.  Solace has $1 billion in property insured, with over $175 million in property coverage for flood alone.

3.    How many carriers do you represent?

As a customer who values customized solutions and choice, you should be looking for a number over 20.  Agencies with more companies have the proper staffing, ability and financial resources to market their product and grow each company.  Companies work with agencies they think they’ll be successful with; they work with agencies that have a proven track record of success.  The more companies an agency has, the more stable and capable an agency is.

Solace advises Floridians to seek the assistance of professionals when looking to obtain comprehensive insurance policies.  The above questions can help one to choose a professional who can help you to secure the correct flood insurance coverage for your home or business.

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