Circular Letter No. 18 (1994)

November 17, 1994


All Insurers Authorized To Write Homeowners And Dwelling Fire Personal Lines Policies In New York State, And Insurance Producer Organizations


Flood Insurance Notice Required By NYIL Section 3444

Recent natural disasters and changing weather patterns show that flood prone areas and even geographical regions not usually associated with floods can be besieged by flood waters. One need only look at last year's floods in the Midwest and this year's floods in the Southeast and Texas to realize the importance of obtaining flood insurance. Yet many insureds may be unaware that their homeowner policy and dwelling fire policies do not cover flood damage. Consumers may not realize that a separate federal flood insurance policy must be purchased to protect against the peril of flood and mudslides caused by flood.

Nearly 95% of all communities in New York State have qualified to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, making homeowners residing in these participating communities eligible to purchase federal flood insurance. Unfortunately, in the past, some homeowners find out they had no flood coverage only after a devastating flood.

In response to this problem, Governor Cuomo recently signed into law a flood insurance notice requirement. Under newly enacted Section 3444 of the Insurance Law, all insurers shall provide a one-time notice prescribed or approved by the Superintendent to all homeowner and dwelling fire insureds, explaining 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 will also include information regarding flood insurance eligibility and access, worded in a manner that does not alarm insureds or entice them into purchasing unnecessary coverage.

This flood insurance notice must be included for all new business effective January 22, 1995 and for first renewals of homeowner and dwelling fire policies occurring after March 22, 1995.

To comply with Section 3444, insurers can use: (a) the following disclosure notice recommended by the Superintendent; or (b) another notice, filed with and approved by the Superintendent, as satisfying Section 3444 requirements. This notice should be clear and conspicuous.


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.

All companies should acknowledge receipt of this Circular Letter by notifying:

Gerald Scattaglia
Supervising Insurance Examiner
New York State Insurance Department
160 West Broadway
New York, New York 10013

Insurer use of the prescribed form above is automatically approved. Use of any other form for the required flood insurance notice should be submitted to the Department for approval prior to its use. When acknowledging this letter, please indicate what form your company intends to use. Please direct any questions concerning the subject to Mr. Scattaglia, (212) 602-0374.

Very truly yours,

Salvatore R. Curiale
Superintendent of Insurance