Lawmakers want flood insurance cap raised

TRENTON – Improving the $250,000 cap on flood insurance, which is run by the federal government, was taken up by the Assembly Financial Institutions Committee today.

The cap is far too low to cover most homes that suffer flood damage, given that New Jersey has one of the priciest real estate stocks in the country, lawmakers said.  

Assemblyman and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, (D-6), Voorhees, said most homeowners are probably unaware that furnished basements are not covered by flood insurance.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance CEO Bernie Flynn said his agency received as many as 1,000 insurance claims per hour after the hurricane.

Thus far, the company has received 52,000 claims, with 43,000 involving home damage, largely stemming from winds, and 9,000 for auto claims.

Since Sandy came and went, NJM has paid out $50 million in claims just for auto damage. Including property damage, Flynn said NJM has paid out $100 million. When all is said and done, approximately $300 million will be paid out, the CEO said.

While NJM doesn’t offer flood insurance itself, Flynn said it does help facilitate writing of flood policies.

Flynn also said the $250,000 limit on flood insurance is not enough.

“It’s woefully deficient,” he said.

As of now, Flynn said he doesn’t see NJM having any problems paying out all of its policy holders.

“It would take multiple Sandys to put us in financial difficulty,” he said

  Lawmakers want flood insurance cap raised