I work as a licensed insurance agent for auto and homeowners for the largerst auto insurer in NJ. I also surf. This storm produced the largest single claim event in the state history. It will break the record set last year. I tried to get into Squan last monday morning and was rightfully denied. I didnt understand. If I told people in Squan monday morning (right before the storm) that they needed to go home and get all their belongings and important documents as well as their pets and all their vehicles because they wouldnt be coming home for 6 months they would have laughed at me.
I surf so I understand what full moon high tide 6+ plus waves 15+ plus surge 6+ means extreme flooding. This was not the Irene formula. Irene was not a coastal event. I spoke with over 20 people who comletely lost their homes. They fall info different categories. Primary and secondary homes namely. People in Deal own many other residences and no one primarily lives on the ocean. Funny cause there were tons of contractors already working their after the storm. Many of these people, like bayhead and LBI self insure. They have so much money they own their house cash (no bank) and are not mandated to have a FLOOD policy. Every homeowner should know in NJ the FLOOD is an exclusion. If you have a mortage and live in a flood zone then you are required to carry flood. This probably saved you. So the people who own on the beach have decided for many years that FLOOD cost too much and they would rather take on the risk.....so say a guy on Ocean Ave in Belmar would have to pay $10k a year for FLood insurance on his $1mil home. Over 20 years he saves $200k. He actually saved that money(prob spent elsewhere) but now its time to pay something....This property owner is actually paying less for insurance per year than most of you because they "choose" to self insure. They are now asking FEMA for money and will prob get it.
The second individual loves the beach so much they are willing to own a small house by the sea they probably pay way too much for. They are not rich so have a mort and forces to carry FLOOD. Flood max's out at $250k w no loss of use. Most can rebuild for $250k but the problem becomes zoning, infrastructure, and labor. Can you rebuild on property now above the high water line? should you? is it a partial or total loss? is their going to be plumbing, gas, sewer, electric...when? With no loss of use where will these people go. They are getting a check to move somewhere else at best...rebuilding or making someone whole could be impossible.
The 3rd group of people are people in West Creek on the marsh...completely wiped out and nothing at all left...there is no rebuilding...FEMA will hopefully give them money first bc it's a clear cut case.
Christie said insured will not be subject to hurricane deductible....this could possibly lead to insurers not collecting enough to stay solvent...insurers will go under with this one for sure....Allstate already had a foot out the door.
Rates were already going up due to last years record claims. They will probably be doubling for auto and homeowners insurance for the next few years plus there will be less competition since no one will want to write insurance here.....it's a mess....I have no answers but I do have and understanding and that's where we all need to start