A bomb cyclone and atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that unleashed heavy rain to parts of the Bay Area this Sunday. The cocktail of heavy rains, rising rivers, strong winds of more than 50 MPH, and desolated soil due to burn scars and last summer fires caused immediate flash flooding and destruction.

Northern California Cyclone and Atmospheric River Flooding

Today, we want to talk about what this event means for your flood insurance and how you can protect yourself from being caught in a loss from all the flood damage that this weather brings.

Bomb Cyclones & Atmospheric River

According to the news report on this weather by CBS News, the atmospheric river — a band carrying more water vapor than the surrounding air — was elevated to a Category 5, the highest designation on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Extreme Weather Lab scale. This generally means that this situation is considered the most hazardous since there's the guaranteed flood, gusty winds, and debris flow from it.

Considering how the state of California is constantly facing wildfires, this type of weather prompted an evacuation order as leftover ashes and debris can fuel mudslides or lead to more severe flooding. The Santa Cruz Mountains. At the time of writing, two centers are reported being used as evacuation areas in Sacramento.

Northern California Cyclone and Atmospheric River Flooding

Other than the atmospheric river storm, we also need to take into account the inches of rain that was dumped into the northern areas of California. In Marin County alone, the community of Karin received 7 inches of rain during this time.

Furthermore, a lot of highways were closed due to the flooding that this weather presented and chain controls are also imposed to further ensure the safety of motorists traveling. The chain control orders are generally used for when there's snow on the roads, but the impacted counties will have to see this implemented due to the heavy rain and snowfall. The California Department of Transportation also known as Caltrans reported flooding and rock slides.

Northern California Cyclone and Atmospheric River Flooding

It would be a relief to say that other than the damages that the flooding and strong winds brought, there were no casualties however this situation already took two lives as a tree fell on them in the Seattle area.

In the Sierra Nevada, potential flash floods, heavy snow, and high winds are expected to be experienced until Tuesday. This atmospheric river storm can also mean that entire Northern California will face widespread power outages.

Nebraska 2019

About two years ago, Nebraska also faced the same challenge when a bomb cyclone blasted the western areas of Nebraska. This weather made sure that Nebraska's west was whiteout with a major storm that caused flooding and rapid runoff that was enough to destroy the Spencer Dam when floodwater and ice slabs hit the dam during the bomb cyclone event.

It's important to note that Nebraska doesn't really have fires as part of the equation which testifies to how bad the situation was. The flood damage to Nebraska alone totaled $2.7 billion and over 7,000 homes were destroyed by this single event alone. NOAA estimated total damage from this historic flood event at $10.8 billion, one of the nation's costliest inland flood events on record.

So, what does this mean for flood insurance on the West Coast and how can you better protect yourself?

How to Protect Yourself

We want to get through this first as safety should be everyone's priority. You might think that you're already safe, but in order to be safe, we still encourage following these steps.

First, you want to make sure that you always have a flood insurance policy in place on your property. Most standard flood insurance policies will cover you for both the damages to your home and the things inside of it or its contents. This is a very crucial first step as this would immediately take off all your worries about your property. We'll talk more about how a flood policy can help you get protected.

We also encourage you to follow necessary evacuation orders or precautions such as sandbagging the perimeter of your house, raising certain electronic devices and valuables to higher ground, and moving you and/or your family to a higher area preferably the designated evacuation centers.

In the event that there's no power in the area, avoid wandering in the flood as there are hidden threats in those waters such as debris and even the possibility of a sudden power surge that may electrocute you. It's best to wait for the rescue team sent out by the government before moving.

How Does Flood Insurance Protect You?

Flood insurance is available to be purchased from both the federal government and private flood insurance companies. This is a separate policy and, as we mentioned before, will allow you to protect yourself from any flood loss due to flooding. This also means that the toxic runoff and flash flood due to precipitation and excessive rainfall will be covered by a single flood insurance policy.

The NFIP

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is purely managed by the federal government since this is FEMA's answer to flood insurance. An NFIP flood policy can get you flood coverage on both your dwelling and the contents within it. When we say dwelling, this simply pertains to either the residential property or commercial building that you're trying to insure with NFIP and FEMA; contents will be more about the personal property and items you have inside the insured building.

There is a coverage limit when it comes to federal flood policies. Flood damage to buildings will be covered to a maximum of $250,000 for residential policies and can only go up to $500,000 maximum if it's for a commercial property. Regardless of the type of property you have written, you can expect to get a $100,000 maximum contents coverage from an NFIP policy.

There's also what's called the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. This is a $30,000 additional coverage for your property in order to make sure that there are flood mitigation efforts made on the property according to the federal government's standards.

Generally, this can include sandbagging your property, installing floodproofing walls, raising your lowest floor from the base flood elevation levels, and putting flood openings. The labor that goes into making these mitigation efforts happen will also be covered under the ICC.

Northern California Cyclone and Atmospheric River Flooding

The good thing about the NFIP and FEMA is that they won't really push you immediately to the waters. Instead, they will allow you to ease into the possible flood insurance rate changes you'll be getting with your new flood zone. This is what's called newly mapped rates where FEMA will have you pay a lower flood rate or premium on your first year after the flood map update. This is also known as the Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) and will slowly start to increase until you meet the actual flood insurance premium expected to be paid for in your new flood zone.

There are also perks with your participating community in Saint Petersburg. A participating community gets access to federal flood insurance and disaster assistance, but more importantly, you also get to work with your community on raising your Community Rating System (CRS) score. The CRS measures and rewards the overall flood mitigation efforts done by the community according to FEMA's standards on floodplain management. Simply put, the higher your CRS score is, the bigger the flood insurance discount you'll get from FEMA and the NFIP.

You can start enjoying your NFIP policy after a 30-day waiting period from the flood insurance purchase.

Northern California Cyclone and Atmospheric River Flooding

The Private Flood

If the federal flood insurance option doesn't really work for you then you can manage this new floodplain mapping through the private flood insurance market. It's important to note that this market will solely be managed and provided by private insurance companies which generally means that the red tapes FEMA and NFIP has to go through won't be there.

The first thing you'll immediately see with the private flood market is that there are significantly shorter waiting periods for your flood policy. Once you have everything settled and paid for, a private flood insurance policy can take effect on 7 or up to 14 days maximum. 

Another good thing coming out of private flood insurance is that there are no coverage limits. This means that you won't really need to stress over how to get covered for a $500,000 home since it will be fully covered by your policy. This is the same with contents coverage and you'll also get additional coverages like replacement costsadditional living expenses, and loss of use.

Fair warning, it's a known issue in the private insurance market in general that they will do moratoriums when there are risks that are too high for their comforts. This simply means that they will either put a stop or take a break from providing flood insurance policies to a certain area that has higher risks. There's also a chance that you might not get to buy flood insurance from them once they decide to non-renew your policy.

At the end of the day, the choice of where you'll be getting flood insurance depends on you. What's really important is that you know your flood risks and have enough protection from all possible outcomes of a flood event such as flood loss and flood damage.

Flooding can happen anywhere even in areas where it doesn't look like it will flood. It's to always stay ahead of the curve and make sure that you're prepared for anything. If you have questions on flood insurance coverage, Risk Rating 2.0, or anything related to flood, click below to access our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all of your questions on flood insurance and more.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood policy, and mitigating your property long-term.

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Since the beginning of time, we were always accustomed to thinking that fire and water can only destroy one another. What if I told you that in the case of California, fires actually worsen the amount of water that we get when there's flooding.

Today, we want to discuss how these fires in California have been impacting the flooding on the west coast and communities can best prepare themselves for this type of condition.

How Do the California Fires Impact Flooding?

Fire and Floodwater in California

If you told people outside of the west coast that fires and drought can lead to worse floods, some might find it hard to believe however this is the perfect cocktail that's been ravaging the western areas of the country and most specifically California.

At the time of writing, a bomb cyclone and atmospheric rivers caused a lot of flash floods, toxic runoff, rockslides, and mudslides after a significant amount of rain was dumped in the area. We've covered this topic in our previous blog. What we want to focus on is how even in recent times, this tag team of wildfire and floods are causing a lot of trouble in California.

How Do the California Fires Impact Flooding?

If we look back in 2018, Butte County and Los Angeles were hit with 1 and a half inches of rain which is fairly common anywhere else, but this was enough to cause catastrophic flooding. How did that relatively small amount of rainfall be enough to cause floods?

Well, at the time that this happened, California's soil was badly scarred by the deadliest wildfire in history. The flood was due to the fact that the soil in the area was totally incapable of holding any of that water so it just caused all of the debris to flow into nearby areas.

Fires Becoming a Flood Risk

It's highly noticeable, even without looking at the numbers, that the risk of flooding in California is significantly high. This is highly due to the constant fires that are also constantly presenting potential impacts to future floods. The risk of floods in these areas is also significantly dangerous due to destructive debris flows which contain all the toxic chemicals from burnt materials.

These debris flows are commonly due to the surface erosion that we're seeing in areas where there has been a fire. A fire can easily destroy the overall quality of the soil in these areas which is why a small amount of rain becomes the biggest flood hazard with equal destructiveness to the fires themselves. Equally, when that toxic debris flows get into the water supply, there's also a health risk being presented to the residents of the impacted communities and/or areas. 

These threats can happen even with a small amount of rain and it escalates further when we start to talk about heavy rains. The stronger the rain in these areas is, the more vicious the debris flows become, and once this flows into reservoirs and dams, it's a bigger problem for these communities.

How Do the California Fires Impact Flooding?

How Flood Insurance Helps

Flood insurance is becoming more relevant now with the current climate change and it's one of the most essential insurance policies you can have. It's important to note that flood damage to your property won't be covered by any other insurance other than flood insurance.

In the case of California and the current condition it's facing with the bomb cyclone and atmospheric rivers, we encourage that each resident will get one for their property since there's a lot of flood hazards going around presented not just by rain, but also through those wildfires.

Flood insurance covers any loss that was resulted because of a flood. Any surface water will be considered as a flood once it affects at least two acres of land or two properties. This means that what happened in California and the west coast due to the bomb cyclone already qualifies for flood insurance coverage.

Flood Insurance Options in California

How Do the California Fires Impact Flooding?

When you buy flood insurance from the government-backed market under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you will get covered for both dwelling and contents. Dwelling coverage or building coverage will max out at $250,000 and contents coverage will max out at $100,000.

This will be all of the coverage you'll be getting through FEMA and the NFIP. The only other additional coverage you can get is the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) which can really help you protect your home from floodwaters. This is an additional $30,000 solely dedicated to flood mitigation however it must be said that this is something that your community should apply for.

You can learn more about federal flood insurance and the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 by checking out our previous blog.

How Do the California Fires Impact Flooding?

On the other hand, you also have the private flood insurance market which offers no coverage limits on their flood policies. This means two things: one, you don't have to take up all that $250,000 even when you don't need it and, lastly, you can make sure that you get covered for more than $250,000.

Private flood insurance also helps you find more peace of mind as it can also provide replacement costs, additional living expenses, and loss of use.

Regardless of your flood insurance carrier choice, it's still best to keep a policy intact with your property. Climate change is drastically changing the landscape of how natural disasters — from droughts to sudden downpours of rain — and we must be vigilant to keep up with these changes.

If you have any questions on how fires impact flood insurance, where your flood insurance coverage starts and stops, or anything about floods, click below so you could call us or go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your flood insurance questions.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risk, flood insurance, and mitigating the value of your property long-term.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

We've covered the gist of the upcoming changes to federal flood insurance under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As we dive deeper into the hurricane season and closer to the date of these updates, we want to prepare for what's to come to your community.

We've covered the changes happening in each state and today, we dive into more specific territories and talk about the changes coming to federal flood insurance in San Diego County, California.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: San Diego Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The National Flood Insurance Program

For this new series of content, we will focus on the major cities in all major counties that are going to receive the bulk of the impact of the upcoming changes with flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but first, let's refresh our memory and see why these changes are happening.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the answer of the federal government when it comes to flood concerns. This program was established ever since 1968 through the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The NFIP is currently working as the federal or government agencies' flood insurance for the United States and its residents.

FEMA and NFIP always look into analyzing and studying floodplain devolvement, flood model management, flood insurance, and disaster assistance. So, what does the NFIP cover?

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: San Diego Risk Rating 2.0 Update

First, it's important to keep in mind that flood insurance is a separate policy from your usual homeowner's insurance and auto insurance policies. This means that if your house gets inundated during a flood event, it won't be the homeowner's policy that will give you flood coverage.

Now that we got that out of the way, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverages for the flood damage that your property will sustain. The property will involve both the dwelling or the building itself — either residential property or commercial — as well as the contents or the personal property that's inside the insured home. NFIP flood insurance will provide coverage for the dwelling that maxes to $250,000 and contents that maxes to $100,000.

There's also additional coverage that comes in when you're a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which can be enjoyed through the Community Rating System (CRS) and the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

It's important to note however that the National Flood Insurance Program didn't have any major changes in the last thirty years until now which will be in the form of the Risk Rating 2.0.

What is the Risk Rating 2.0, you ask?

The Flood Insurance Guru | Huntsville, Alabama New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

Risk Rating 2.0: What Changes?

This is what FEMA calls equity in action when it comes to making the cost of flood insurance policies fairer per policyholder. This simply means that when it comes to flood insurance rates, a lot of things will start to change with the NFIP and FEMA. Generally, this is because property values for each individual property will be accounted for when finalizing your quote and flood insurance premiums with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

It's important to note, however, that this won't mean that the cheapest flood insurance will go automatically to lower-valued homes. It's equally important that we take into account, just like FEMA does and the private flood insurance industry, what's called flood risk variables which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Designation in the flood zone maps.
  • History of flood incidents, flood damage, and flood loss
  • Flood claims made with the property
  • Flood hazard, flood plain devolvement, and impact of flooding
  • Risk of flood in the area, the chance of flooding, and flood frequency
  • Mitigation efforts made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let flood waters through?

Now that we've covered the NFIP and the Risk Rating 2.0, let's talk about its impact on San Diego, California. We'll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to the residents of the city.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: San Diego Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The Good

When we're talking about these changes, we want to emphasize that this will solely involve flood premiums changes or updates from FEMA and the NFIP. Let's kick this off with the good changes coming to residents of America's Finest City, San Diego.

The good changes will involve an immediate decrease in flood premiums with FEMA. This decrease can go up to more than $100 (>$1200 per year) and will impact 26.7% or 2,428 National Flood Insurance policies in force in the city. We divide these changes into two parts.

The first covers the decrease in flood insurance rates or premiums that ranges from $0 to $50 per month (up to $600 per year). About 1,616 or 17.7% of the policies will be impacted by this change.

On the other hand, you have a better deal with the second part of this good change since it generally covers 812 or 8.9% of the national flood insurance policies in force. The immediate decrease ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 - >$1200 per year).

Considering that the national average when it comes to premiums is about $1000 across the United States, this can really help a lot of people get flood insurance through FEMA especially when we're talking about coastal zones where flood risks can be extremely high and get the bulk of the damages from natural disasters.

The Bad

If there are good changes, there are also bad ones. This change from the Risk Rating 2.0 will get increase your flood insurance costs when it comes to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The increase will range from $0 to $10 per month (up to $120 per year) and will impact about 5,664 or 62.2% of the policies in San Diego County and the city itself. Now, this increase may seem so small, but you have to consider that this takes the biggest chunk out of the population in San Diego.

Now that we're facing increased climate risks, it's hard to ignore that the risk of flooding in areas that sit near the coastline is safe from the damage from floods.

The Ugly

Now, let's move deeper and into the ugly changes. For this part, we want to emphasize that we divided this into three parts: the ugly, the uglier, and the ugliest change. Let's dive into specifics.

First, the ugly change will be covering about 578 or 6.3% of the policies. The reason why this falls under the ugly change is that the increase is now noticeable since it ranges from $10 to $20 per month ($120 to $240 per year). 

On the other hand, you have the uglier change which is something that about 390 or 4.3% will experience. This time around, the increase won't be bearable since it ranges from $20 to $50 per month ($240 to $600 per year).

Lastly, you can also see few San Diego residents fall on the ugliest side. This mostly involves about 48 or half a percent of properties in the city. Although it's a very small number of people, you have to realize that the increase ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 to >$1200 per year in annual premium).

This can really make it difficult to go into federal flood insurance and even a harder experience if the private flood insurance market is not available to protect you from flood waters. Regardless of where you fall on these three, considering that the average premium across California is about $850, this type of increase can really hurt your budget and we won't even blame you if you want to get private policies.

When Will It Happen?

The Risk Rating 2.0 from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will take effect starting this October 1st, 2021. It's important to note however that you really don't need to immediately adopt these new rates once Fall comes. The NFIP will allow you to adopt these new rates on your renewal, so if you just renewed your policy with FEMA last April then you can move into the new rates in April 2022.

At the end of the day, we're still subject to extreme weather events, and our friends in coastal areas are more prone to the dangers of these disasters. It's best to know where to get a policy best because we've seen that even without floods, a lot of people still drown due to these expensive insurance premiums.

Get a quote from the Flood Insurance Guru!

If you have questions on your flood insurance options in San Diego County, your flood risk score, or anything about flood, reach out to us by clicking below. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which let's us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

We've covered the gist of the upcoming changes to federal flood insurance under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As we dive deeper into the hurricane season and closer to the date of these updates, we want to prepare for what's to come to Sacramento.

We've covered the changes happening in each state and today, we dive into more specific territories and talk about the changes coming to federal flood insurance in Sacramento City, California.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Sacramento Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The National Flood Insurance Program

For this new series of content, we will focus on the major cities in all major counties that are going to receive the bulk of the impact of the upcoming changes with flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but first, let's refresh our memory and see why these changes are happening.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the answer of the federal government when it comes to flood concerns. This program was established ever since 1968 through the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The NFIP is currently working as the federal or government agencies' flood insurance for the United States and its residents. FEMA and NFIP always look into analyzing and studying floodplain devolvement, flood model management, flood insurance, and disaster assistance. So, what does the NFIP cover?

First, it's important to keep in mind that flood insurance is a separate policy from your usual homeowner's insurance and auto insurance policies. This means that if your house gets inundated during a flood event, it won't be the homeowner's policy that will give you flood coverage.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Sacramento Risk Rating 2.0 Update

Now that we got that out of the way, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverages for the flood damage that your property will sustain. The property will involve both the dwelling or the building itself — either residential property or commercial — as well as the contents or the personal property that's inside the insured home. NFIP flood insurance will provide coverage for the dwelling that maxes to $250,000 and contents that maxes to $100,000.

There's also additional coverage that comes in when you're a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which can be enjoyed through the Community Rating System (CRS) and the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

It's important to note however that the National Flood Insurance Program didn't have any major changes in the last thirty years until now which will be in the form of the Risk Rating 2.0.

What is the Risk Rating 2.0, you ask?

Risk Rating 2.0: What Changes?

This is what FEMA calls equity in action when it comes to making the cost of flood insurance policies fairer per policyholder. This simply means that when it comes to flood insurance rates, a lot of things will start to change with the NFIP and FEMA. Generally, this is because property values for each individual property will be accounted for when finalizing your quote and flood insurance premiums with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Sacramento Risk Rating 2.0 Update

It's important to note, however, that this won't mean that the cheapest flood insurance will go automatically to lower-valued homes. It's equally important that we take into account, just like FEMA does and the private flood insurance industry, what's called flood risk variables which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Designation in the flood zone maps.
  • History of flood incidents, flood damage, and flood loss
  • Flood claims made with the property
  • Flood hazard, flood plain devolvement, and impact of flooding
  • Risk of flood in the area, the chance of flooding, and flood frequency
  • Mitigation efforts made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let flood waters through?

Now that we've covered the NFIP and the Risk Rating 2.0, let's talk about its impact on Madison County and its seat, Huntsville City. We'll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to the residents of the city.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Sacramento Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The Good

When we're talking about these changes, we want to emphasize that this will solely involve flood premiums changes or updates from FEMA and the NFIP. Let's kick this off with the good changes coming to residents of the Big Tomato, Sacramento.

The good changes will involve an immediate decrease in flood premiums with FEMA. This decrease can go up to more than $100 (>$1200 per year) and will impact 28.8% or 15,143 National Flood Insurance policies in force in the city. We divide these changes into two parts.

The first covers the decrease in flood insurance rates or premiums that ranges from $0 to $50 per month (up to $600 per year). About 12,853 or 24.5% of the policies in Sacramento will be impacted by this change.

On the other hand, you have a better deal with the second part of this good change since it generally covers 2,290 or 4.4% of the national flood insurance policies in force. This means that about 4.4% of the populous in Sacramento will get an immediate decrease that from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 - >$1200 per year).

Considering that the national average when it comes to premiums is about $1000 across the United States, this can really help a lot of people get flood insurance through FEMA especially when we're talking about coastal zones where flood risks can be extremely high and get the bulk of the damages from natural disasters.

The Bad

If there are good changes, there are also bad ones. This change from the Risk Rating 2.0 will get increase your flood insurance costs when it comes to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The increase will range from $0 to $10 per month (up to $120 per year) and will impact about 37,162 or 70.8% of the policies in Sacramento. Now, this increase may seem so small, but you have to consider that this takes the biggest chunk out of the population in Sacramento.

The Ugly

Now, let's move deeper and into the ugly changes. For this part, we want to emphasize that we divided this into three parts: the ugly, the uglier, and the ugliest change. Let's dive into specifics.

First, the ugly change will be covering about 109 or 0.2% of the policies. The reason why this falls under the ugly change is that the increase is now noticeable since it ranges from $10 to $20 per month ($120 to $240 per year). 

On the other hand, you have the uglier change which is something that about 70 or 0.1% will experience. This time around, the increase won't be bearable since it ranges from $20 to $50 per month ($240 to $600 per year).

Lastly, you can also see few Sacramento residents fall on the ugliest side. This mostly involves about 7 policies that FEMA has in force in Sacramento. Although it's a very small number of people, you have to realize that the increase ranges from $50 to $60 per month ($600 to $720 per year in annual premium).

This can really make it difficult to go into federal flood insurance and even a harder experience if the private flood insurance market is not available to protect you from flood waters. Regardless of where you fall on these three, considering that the average premium across California is about $850, this type of increase can really hurt your budget and we won't even blame you if you want to move to another insurer.

When Will It Happen?

The Risk Rating 2.0 from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will take effect starting this October 1st, 2021. It's important to note however that you really don't need to immediately adopt these new rates once Fall comes.

The NFIP will allow you to adopt these new rates on your renewal, so if you just renewed your policy with FEMA last April then you can move into the new rates in April 2022.

At the end of the day, we're still subject to extreme weather events, and our friends in coastal areas are more prone to the dangers of these disasters. It's best to know where to get a policy best because we've seen that even without floods, a lot of people still drown due to these expensive insurance premiums.

If you have questions on your flood insurance options in Sacramento, your flood risk score, or anything about flood, reach out to us by clicking below. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Get a quote from the Flood Insurance Guru!

We've covered the gist of the upcoming changes to federal flood insurance under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As we dive deeper into the hurricane season and closer to the date of these updates, we want to prepare for what's to come to your community.

We've covered the changes happening in each state and today, we dive into more specific territories and talk about the changes coming to federal flood insurance in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Los Angeles Risk Rating 2.0 Update

For this new series of content, we will focus on the major cities in all major counties that are going to receive the bulk of the impact of the upcoming changes with flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but first, let's refresh our memory and see why these changes are happening.

It's important to note however that the National Flood Insurance Program didn't have any major changes in the last thirty years until now which will be in the form of the Risk Rating 2.0.

What is the Risk Rating 2.0, you ask?

Risk Rating 2.0: What Changes?

This is what FEMA calls equity in action when it comes to making the cost of flood insurance policies fairer per policyholder. This simply means that when it comes to flood insurance rates, a lot of things will start to change with the NFIP and FEMA. Generally, this is because property values for each individual property will be accounted for when finalizing your quote and flood insurance premiums with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

It's important to note, however, that this won't mean that the cheapest flood insurance will go automatically to lower-valued homes. It's equally important that we take into account, just like FEMA does and the private flood insurance industry, what's called flood risk variables which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Designation in the flood zone maps.
  • History of flood incidents, flood damage, and flood loss
  • Flood claims made with the property
  • Flood hazard, flood plain devolvement, and impact of flooding
  • Risk of flood in the area, the chance of flooding, and flood frequency
  • Mitigation efforts made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let flood waters through?

Now that we've covered the NFIP and the Risk Rating 2.0, let's talk about its impact on Los Angeles County. We'll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to the residents of the city.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Los Angeles Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The Good

When we're talking about these changes, we want to emphasize that this will solely involve flood premiums changes or updates from FEMA and the NFIP. Let's kick this off with the good changes coming to residents of Los Angeles County.

The good changes will involve an immediate decrease in flood premiums with FEMA. This decrease can go up to more than $100 (>$1200 per year) and will impact 20.7% or 3,652 National Flood Insurance policies in force in the city. We divide these changes into two parts.

The first covers the decrease in flood insurance rates or premiums that ranges from $0 to $50 per month (up to $600 per year). About 1,858 or 10.5% of the policies will be impacted by this change.

On the other hand, you have a better deal with the second part of this good change since it generally covers 1,794 or 10.2% of the national flood insurance policies in force. The immediate decrease ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 - >$1200 per year).

Considering that the national average when it comes to premiums is about $1000 across the United States, this can really help a lot of people get flood insurance through FEMA especially when we're talking about coastal zones where flood risks can be extremely high and get the bulk of the damages from natural disasters.

The Bad

If there are good changes, there are also bad ones. This change from the Risk Rating 2.0 will get increase your flood insurance costs when it comes to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The increase will range from $0 to $10 per month (up to $120 per year) and will impact about 11,329 or 64.1% of the policies in Los Angeles County and the city itself. Now, this increase may seem so small, but you have to consider that this takes the biggest percent out of the population in Los Angeles.

Now that we're facing increased climate risks, it's hard to ignore that the risk of flooding in areas that sit near the coastline is safe from the damage from floods.

The Ugly

Now, let's move deeper and into the ugly changes. For this part, we want to emphasize that we divided this into three parts: the ugly, the uglier, and the ugliest change. Let's dive into specifics.

First, the ugly change will be covering about 1,543 or 8.7% of the policies. The reason why this falls under the ugly change is that the increase is now noticeable since it ranges from $10 to $20 per month ($120 to $240 per year). 

On the other hand, you have the uglier change which is something that about 1,043 or 5.9% will experience. This time around, the increase won't be bearable since it ranges from $20 to $50 per month ($240 to $600 per year).

Lastly, you can also see few Los Angeles residents fall on the ugliest side. This mostly involves about 107 or 0.6% of properties in the city. Although it's a very small number of people, you have to realize that the increase ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 to >$1200 per year in annual premium).

This can really make it difficult to go into federal flood insurance and even a harder experience if the private flood insurance market is not available to protect you from flood waters. Regardless of where you fall on these three, considering that the average premium across California is about $850, this type of increase can really hurt your budget and we won't even blame you if you want to get private policies.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: Los Angeles Risk Rating 2.0 Update

The National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the answer of the federal government when it comes to flood concerns. This program was established ever since 1968 through the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The NFIP is currently working as the federal or government agencies' flood insurance for the United States and its residents. FEMA and NFIP always look into analyzing and studying floodplain devolvement, flood model management, flood insurance, and disaster assistance.

So, what does the NFIP cover?

First, it's important to keep in mind that flood insurance is a separate policy from your usual homeowner's insurance and auto insurance policies. This means that if your house gets inundated during a flood event, it won't be the homeowner's policy that will give you flood coverage.

Now that we got that out of the way, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverages for the flood damage that your property will sustain. The property will involve both the dwelling or the building itself — either residential property or commercial — as well as the contents or the personal property that's inside the insured home. NFIP flood insurance will provide coverage for the dwelling that maxes to $250,000 and contents that maxes to $100,000.

There's also additional coverage that comes in when you're a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which can be enjoyed through the Community Rating System (CRS) and the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

When Will It Happen?

The Risk Rating 2.0 from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will take effect starting this October 1st, 2021. It's important to note however that you really don't need to immediately adopt these new rates once Fall comes. The NFIP will allow you to adopt these new rates on your renewal, so if you just renewed your policy with FEMA last April then you can move into the new rates in April 2022.

At the end of the day, we're still subject to extreme weather events, and our friends in coastal areas are more prone to the dangers of these disasters. It's best to know where to get a policy best because we've seen that even without floods, a lot of people still drown due to these expensive insurance premiums.

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If you have questions on your flood insurance options in Los Angeles, your flood risk score, or anything about flood, reach out to us by clicking below. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which let's us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is rolling out changes when it comes to flood insurance rates across all states in the country. Today, we will unpack these changes coming to California and how they can impact your flood insurance in the future.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

We want to cover what Californians who are policyholders of flood insurance from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are going to face come Fall this year. Considering how there areas like Stockton where there's limited access to private flood, it's important to get an idea of the changes coming to your main flood insurance provider: the federal government.

We believe that the actual flood risk being presented to us is not having enough flood coverage for those flood insurance premiums you're paying for. When the cost of flood insurance seems to be higher and higher, we want to help you understand how the landscape of the National Flood Insurance Program will change this year.

We'll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming from Risk Rating 2.0 to the Golden State which will start to kick in by October 1st, 2021.

The NFIP 2.0

The Risk Rating 2.0, or commonly known as NFIP 2.0 as well, is more of a move of equity. This update on the federal flood insurance program itself will allow you to no longer pay more than your fair share when it comes to premiums as flood insurance premiums would now be based on the value of your property or home starting this October. 

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

Generally, these rate changes will depend on many things that FEMA considers about your property like its market value, what zone it sits on in the flood maps, risk of flooding on individual properties, flood history, and for Californians things like risk of being damaged by storm surge, flood damage and claim records, flood frequencies relative to your properties location, and the position of your house's lowest grade relative to the state's base flood elevation levels. 

When it comes to the rate changes happening across the country, you're going to see these colors in ranges which are the green, blue, pink, and grey range bars. Now, each of these colors represents the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to each state.

For this one, we want to focus on the Golden State of California. Let's unpack these and see what they mean for flood insurance in the near future.

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Good

When talking about these good changes with the Risk Rating 2.0 and how it will change based on your property's value, you also want to include the upcoming changes to flood rates. This good change is in that green range which generally means that you're going to get a decrease in your flood insurance rates. 

About 27% or about 57,549 policies in California will experience this good change in rates. This means that the impacted policyholders on this range will get that decrease of more than $100 per month ($1200 per year) in flood insurance rates. It's important to note that this amount really depends on the value of your property.

This can really help a lot of property owners especially those who carry policies from FEMA for their residential properties since most of the time, being in the coastal flood zone can cause you to have high premium rates with the NFIP. This just might be the answer for those who are facing a hard time with federal flood insurance costs.

The Bad

Now, let's talk about the biggest percentage when it comes to this upcoming change to California. About 63% or 135,640 policies will be in this blue range. This generally means that, on average, there will be an increase from $0 to $10 per month ($0 - $120 per year) on the policyholders in this range. 

Considering that the current premium in California averages $850, you can expect this to go up to an average of $920. Just like in the good change, this would depend on your property value however properties in this blue range will pay somewhere around that number when it comes to their flood policy with FEMA.

It's also important to note that this rate hike is just the beginning since we're just talking about rates and annual rate increases will be another story since this will depend on your property's individual flood risk.

The Ugly

Lastly, let's talk about the ugly change which falls in that last 10% of the range. For this one, we're going to separate that 6% from the pink range and 4% from the grey range. Let's go a little bit deeper into these changes.

When it comes to that pink range, which we consider to be the less ugly change, policyholders will still experience an increase in their rates, but this time around it's going to range from $10 to $20 per month ($120 - $240 per year). This means that 6% of California's policyholders (13,560 FEMA policies) are going to pay around $970 up to $1100 in their flood premiums starting this October.

On the grey range, we're talking about the uglier change between the two because this means that the 4% or about 8,116 policies from FEMA in the state will get more than a $20 increase per month ($240 per year). This means that you're going to pay more than $1200 for your FEMA flood policy starting this October.

Here's a full graph of these upcoming changes to California:

The Flood Insurance Guru | California Flood Insurance: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

When Will It Happen?

Now, the date when you can adopt this program really depends if you're doing a renewal or if it's a new business policy. You see, you can expect these changes to start on October 1st and you're going to adapt to these rate changes if you're buying flood insurance from FEMA on or after that date. 

On the other hand, if you're doing a renewal with FEMA after that date then you don't have to take in these new rate changes until April 1st, 2022.

We've been talking about this since last year since basically the NFIP is already 30 years old already and is in need of this change. It's important to start preparing for this especially since there's this possibility that private flood insurance carriers will pull away from providing policies in California. We've seen this happen before and even in other states like Texas, so it's best to be prepared when you're left to go with federal flood insurance.

If you have questions on these upcoming changes, what are your flood insurance options in California, or anything about flood, reach out to us through the links below. You can also watch this on our YouTube channel.

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you understand flood risks through education and awareness in flood insurance and preparedness.

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