TO: All Fire and Casualty Insurers, Including the New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association (Fair Plan)

FROM: Karen L. Suter, Commissioner

RE: Homeowners Insurance Policies/National Flood Insurance Program

The Department of Banking and Insurance ("Department") pursuant to the authority of P.L. 2000, c. 84 ("the Act") and N.J.A.C. 11:1-5.5, notes that all fire and casualty insurers, including the New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association created in accordance with N.J.S.A. 17:37A-1 et seq., are required to provide their policyholders with a written notice regarding the lack of coverage in the event of flood loss. The Department is issuing this Bulletin to notify insurers of the National Flood Insurance Program ("NFIP") "Cover America Campaign" which is intended to help raise consumer awareness about flood insurance.

The NFIP Cover America Campaign is designed to provide notification to consumers who may not realize that their homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage. Consumers seeking flood insurance must obtain separate coverage. The NFIP Co-op Advertising Program provides assistance to insurance companies and agents to alert consumers about flood insurance coverage.

The NFIP Co-op Advertising Program provides insurance companies and agents the opportunity to save up to 50 percent of flood insurance advertising expenses when they utilize pre-approved newspaper, magazine, Yellow Pages, TV, or radio ads. For example, insurers will be reimbursed half of their total expenses - up to $10,000 per agency and $15,000 for Write Your Own insurance companies - under this program.

The NFIP Co-op Advertising Program began on April 1, 2001 and runs through March 31, 2002. In order to participate, insurance companies and agents must submit the enclosed Advertising Approval Application and obtain approval before an ad is run, whether it is an NFIP ad or an insurance agent/company created ad. The NFIP must receive original tear sheets and photocopies of paid invoices no later than April 30, 2002, in order to be eligible for reimbursement. The NFIP Co-op Advertising Guidelines are enclosed. Additional information about the program can be obtained by contacting the NFIP at www.floodalert.fema.gov ; by telephone (1-800-564-8236); or by fax (212-727-5719).

It is important that insurance agents and companies submit applications as soon as possible because they are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.


5/25/01 /s/ Karen L. Suter, Commissioner