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How can the mortgage industry be more prepared for the next natural disaster?

The housing industry, from servicers to real estate agents and more, will feel the impacts of this year’s hurricane season far beyond 2022. In the midst of this, a potential lapse in the National Flood Insurance is top of mind for many. 

In light of that, HW Media Managing Editor of Content Solutions Maleesa Smith sat down with Scott Giberson, principal of product compliance at CoreLogic, to discuss the future of the NFIP, as well as potential reforms that could help the industry be more prepared for the next disaster. 

The NFIP’s authority to operate must be periodically renewed by Congress. At the end of September, the president signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the NFIP’s authorization to Dec. 16, 2022, according to FEMA. Beyond that, there are more questions than answers regarding the future of the program.

“People are looking for answers,” Giberson said. “We have lenders coming to us asking about the potential impact of a mortgage loan closing should the NFIP lapse. Real estate agents and insurance agents are looking for data and information to help their customers better understand flood risk and then take action by buying flood insurance. And yes, some homeowners are looking for answers as to how to reduce flood insurance premiums.”

The importance of flood insurance was made obvious by the devastating impacts of recent hurricane activity. Giberson went on to discuss reform that could help the industry move toward greater resilience in order to be more prepared for the next disaster.

“Resilience really is the objective,” he said. “We will want to be able to bounce back and recover quickly from challenges such as natural disasters. At CoreLogic, one of our priorities is to provide the broader housing and financial services industry with the data analytics and insights needed to help to accelerate that recovery.”

One way that CoreLogic does this is by helping mortgage servicers to triage their portfolios and prioritize their response to a federally declared natural disaster. The company works with servicers to help them focus on borrowers with the greatest need first. 

“One that I believe can drive us to greater resilience is through early effective and repeated communication of flood risk,” Giberson said. “Many states do have sellers disclosure laws. Lenders can also be part of this conversation by making flood risk and flood-compliant flood insurance information available for all customers…Armed with this type of information, customers can take steps to avoid or to mitigate those risks.” 

For more information on how CoreLogic helps keep the industry informed and prepared in the face of natural disasters, click here.

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