A raised hurricane season forecast from NOAA and a timely reminder from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) on flood insurance are our topics du jour.

NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook now anticipates 12 to 17 named storms, up from nine to 15 initially forecast. If you consider that to-date we’ve already seen six named storms, that likely means there’s some significant activity to come during the season’s peak period from August through October.

In NOAA’s words:

We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic. These conditions are linked to the ongoing high activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early-season activity is generally indicative of a more active season.”

While El Niño is a competing factor, NOAA doesn’t expect its influence until later in the season.

Inland flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year caused significant damage for many home and business owners.

A timely reminder from the I.I.I. urges homeowners to consider buying flood insurance. I.I.I. makes the important point that flood insurance covers your property against hurricane-caused storm surges as well as flooding generated by the torrential rains, which often accompanies tropical storms.

Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage, but flood coverage, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and from a few private insurers.

Earlier this summer, after a series of short-term reauthorizations, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which renews the NFIP for five years.

A Huffington Post piece by Wharton School professors Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther discusses the significant reforms to the NFIP as a result of this new law.

Insurance Journal also has a great article by Lori Widmer titled What to Know about the New Flood Insurance Program.