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Finer points of flood insurance

Q. My husband and I own a Park Model in a mobile home park in Port Richey. Before April 4, we had insurance for homeowners, wind and hurricane and flood through AAA; the policies were not all with the same companies.

On April 4, we contacted another insurance company and discovered our premiums would be much less if we switched. We were given three separate policy cancellations, which we took to AAA Insurance Co. We were assured we would receive rebates for the premiums we had already paid.

Within a few weeks, we received the rebates for our homeowners and wind and hurricane policies; however despite repeated phone calls and letters, AAA Auto Club South refuses to cancel our flood insurance. We even sent them a copy of our neighbor's cancellation with the same company. AAA's response was that these are FEMA's rules. We have replaced this coverage. How can FEMA tell us which company we have to use?

Patrick and Dawn Goodine

A. The short answer is it can't, but I think you may have misunderstood what AAA representatives told you.

I contacted Maeda Scanlan, AAA's director of insurance customer service centers.

"National Flood Insurance Program will not cancel the AAA Flood Policy unless they are provided a copy of the new policy declarations page, effective the date the customers wish to cancel," Scanlan said. Once the declarations page is received, AAA can request cancellation.

"All we received from the (Goodines) was a brochure," Scanlan said, which advertised the company you used to replace your flood policy.

"We have kindly and actively advised the (Goodines) on several occasions . . . to provide a copy of the replacement policy showing other flood has been put in force," Scanlan said. This was done May 23, June 13 and June 22.

Since you failed to provide the documents, Scanlan decided to call your new company. A representative there faxed her a copy of the policy and the policy booklet. Scanlan then contacted National Flood Insurance and asked whether it could cancel your flood policy with a copy of the policy jacket, despite rules to the contrary. She was told it could because the declaration page does not mention flood.

"On Dec. 12, I faxed NFI a copy of the accord form with signatures of the insured's, a copy of the declarations page and policy jacket to process the cancellation," Scanlan said. She promised to verify the cancellation request to make certain it was processed.

Don't call; we mean it

Ever wonder if anything happens to telemarketers who violate the Do Not Call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule?

On Dec. 14, the Federal Trade Commission announced it has entered into court settlements with DirecTV. The orders require the defendants to pay a total of $100,000 in penalties and bar them from future TSR violations.

In December 2005, the commission charged DirecTV and defendants that telemarketed on its behalf with violating the DNC Rule and the TSR by calling consumers, despite the fact that their numbers were on the National DNC Registry. In settling the charges, DirecTV paid $5.3-million, representing the largest DNC penalty ever obtained by the commission.

To report DNC violations, you need the date you got the call, and the name or the number of the company that called you. Call toll-free 1-888-382-1222.

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