It's inauguration day in the United States. No matter who you vote for this is always a historic day in the United States.

Its the day power is transferred from one person to the next as you have one president going out and a new one coming in today. 2021 isn't just the changing of presidential power but also the changing of flood insurance.

Almost everyday we get asked when is the National Flood Insurance Program going to get out of the flood insurance game.

The answer could be never but some things have recently happened to transfer some of that power and will continue to through 2021.

In July of 2019 the FDIC ruled that banks could start accepting private flood insurance on top of the National Flood Insurance Program. This meant that many customers had an option that they did not before. However due to the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA cancellation rules they could only change at renewal.

 

After this ruling there were still some dark areas if every loan accepted private flood insurance.

The two areas that came into question were FHA and VA loans because they are considered government loans. Sometimes getting a straight answer on VA guidelines can be difficult. Direct writers for VA loans say no but mortgage brokers for VA loans say yes many times.

 

However FHA is a little bit easier as they have clearly said no for right now. About 60 days ago FHA opened up the comment period to determine if they will accept private flood insurance.

Hopefully they will make a ruling on this in the first quarter of 2021 and allow private flood insurance to be accepted. However thats not the only change with this transfer of power happening. 

The National Flood Insurance Program is scheduled to release NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 in October of 2021.

 

If this does happen it could bring some sweeping changes to a very outdated flood program.

Some of these changes could include flood insurance rates being based on replacement cost, rates based on distance to the water, and possibly elevation certificates no longer being needed.

Currently if you live in a flood zone x or minimal risk zone it's the same rate across the country, However in the new system you mighty have a different rate in Houston Texas compared to Birmingham Alabama.

It has been said that this could cause flood insurance to be unaffordable in areas like Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina where many flood prone properties exist.

Replacement cost on a property could also help determine rates. Currently this is only used in coastal flood zones also known as flood zone V.

 

Elevation certificates no longer being required could be huge. Currently in many situations you can't eve get a flood insurance quote through the National Flood Insurance Program without an elevation certificate.

This could also be a cost saver to property owners as elevation certificate pricing can range from $500 to $2000.

So with these changes happening in 2021 will the National Flood Insurance Program be leaving the flood insurance industry.

It looks like if this did happen it would not happen anytime soon. One reason is the National Flood Insurance Program does not even currently consider private flood insurance as continuous coverage. This is one reason why if you leave for a private policy and come back you may not have the same benefits.

The other concern is insurability for properties that have flooded multiple times. Historically it has been a challenge for these properties to get reasonable flood insurance in these areas.

As you can see there are a lot of changes that are happening with the National Flood Insurance Program and even private flood insurance. If you have further questions make sure to visit our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

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