ST. PETERSBURG --- What is billed as the nation’s first online flood insurance store is up and running. St. Petersburg-based Neptune Flood has launched its new digital store, neptuneflood.com, enabling consumers in Florida and 20 other states to get quotes and buy online in three minutes or less.
The company, backed by former C1 Bank CEO Trevor Burgess, says customers can save more than an hour in the process and up to 25 percent off their flood premiums when choosing Neptune over the beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program. Neptune’s service does not require a surveyor to visit the house to generate an elevation certificate.
Congress has until the end of July to renew the national program, which is $25 billion in debt because its subsidized rates have failed to cover the program’s true costs. Pressure is heavy to raise premiums to actuarially sound levels, but critics say that could be disastrous for states like Florida that have so many homes in flood-prone areas.
Neptune, though, might not be the answer for everyone. A reporter who visited the site today and plugged in the required information about her house in St. Petersburg’s low-lying Shore Acres neighborhood got this response: "We are sorry but we are not able to provide coverage at this time.’’