As we move into the biggest changes coming to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with the upcoming Risk Rating 2.0 Program, Tulsa City in Oklahoma clutched the game with a buzzer-beater of achievement when it comes to federal flood insurance.

Tulsa Flood Protection Above and Beyond

Today, we want to talk about what the recent Community Rating System (CRS) score change in Tulsa impacts flood insurance premiums for its locals.

Flooding and Oklahoma

At the time of writing, the South Central parts of the country including Oklahoma are facing a lot of rain as storm fronts stalled in the area. This weather condition adding up to the drought that Oklahoma is experiencing is one messy cocktail when it comes to flood.

When there's a drought, you can think of rain as water hitting hard cement. The soil won't be able to suck all this water in thus causing it to redirect to low-lying areas. In turn, this means that no one is safe when it comes to flooding.

However, this might not be a big of a concern when it comes to Tulsa since the local government and the community itself did a power move when it comes to flood mitigation by raising the city's community rating system.

But first, what is the Community Rating System (CRS)?

CRS Saves Lives Like CPR

The Community Rating System (CRS) is what we'd like to call the double-edged sword to flood insurance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is generally due to the fact this system created by the federal government encourages people to buy flood insurance and lowers the overall risk of flooding of property by rewarding a participating community with discounts to flood insurance rates.

Basically, this means that the more flood mitigation is done by a community, the higher the discount is for their policyholders. This is why both the federal government, private flood, and even our team encourages actions or measures for flood damage reduction. You get to save your property and avoid substantial damage to your safety and property while lowering your rates with your flood policy.

Tulsa Flood Protection Above and Beyond

Activities in the Community Rating System are organized in four main categories: public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and warning and response. Stormwater management, drainage system maintenance, and floodplain development regulations

This discount can really save policyholders a lot of money since it goes up to a 45% discount if the community gets the highest class rating. Based on the flood mitigation measures made by the participating community or city, you will be categorized ranging from Class 10, being the lowest and having no discount, to Class 1, being the highest with a 45% discount on flood premiums. This type of discount is significantly better if we were to compare it to other insurance companies in the private market.

This program is significantly helpful since it allows more people to get into federal flood insurance and save themselves from empty wallets or debt especially in this COVID-19 pandemic scene.

What did Tulsa do and what reward did they achieve with this?

Tulsa Gets Rating Class 1 in CRS

Now, back on the topic of Tulsa City in Oklahoma where the local community was able to secure the Class 1 Rating with their CRS. This means that flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and FEMA will have a 45% discount for both old and new policyholders. This is also inclusive of the standard flood insurance coverages for residential, commercial, and even rental properties. Tulsa is one of two cities in the whole country that achieve this rating score; the other being Roseville, California.

It's notable to mention that at the time of writing, Oklahoma averages about $950 when it comes to flood insurance premium rates. With this move up to a higher class rating with the CRS, flood insurance premium rates will get a discount of at least $430 based on the average.

Tulsa Flood Protection Above and Beyond

It's important to mention however that once we move into the new Risk Rating 2.0 program, we're going to see a slight increase with most areas in the state of Oklahoma. Regardless, this new CRS score will still be applicable to that. Considering that Tulsa is covered by multiple counties such as Osage County, Rogers County, Wagoner County, and Tulsa County, the 45% discount on flood premiums will impact a lot of people in a great way.

At the time of writing, about 70% of the city will be getting a slight increase of up to $10 per month (up to $120 per year) in premium rates and about 8.8% of policyholders will get more than $10 per month increase (more than $120 per year).

This type of effort of the people not only reduces the resident's overall flood damage and risk for flooding but also ensures that everyone will be able to get protection through flood insurance with FEMA and the NFIP.

What We Learned From This

Each year, flood insurance costs seem to only get higher and higher and in some areas, this can cause a lot of people to be discouraged in buying flood insurance at the expense of their safety and security against flood damage.

With programs like the Community Rating System lowering flood insurance when people take flood mitigation measures really help a lot of people and their local governments find encouragement in exerting effort into lessening the damages that flood brings to properties. Property owners don't just ensure their properties with flood insurance but start to mitigating their properties.

This type of reinforcement helps the case of all homeowners and business owners across the country especially when we're still living in a time where a lot of people underestimate how deadly floods can be.

It's safe to say that we should follow the steps done by Tulsa City in ensuring that they make the most out of flood insurance.

If you have any questions on flood insurance discounts, FEMA flood policies, flood insurance options in Oklahoma, or anything related to floods, click below to reach out to us or access our flood learning center.

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

From the upcoming changes with the Risk Rating 2.0, the flood risk mitigation measures, and flood insurance options, we want to talk about everything you need to know about Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

Risk Rating 2.0 Changes

We recently did an interview with Fox where we were able to discuss this briefly however today, we want to really unpack what's happening with Fort Wayne and cover the whole nine yards. What is surprising to see — trust me, your wallet will be in a shock too — is that Indiana will be experiencing an increase across the board for about 54% of flood insurance policyholders.

The Risk Rating 2.0 is finally here with us and with this new program by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) aimed for equity in action, we will also see some major changes when it comes to flood insurance rates. These changes are mostly due to how homes will now be having what we'd call "the fingerprint of flood risk".

This fingerprint will be determined and identified through various factors concerning the risk of flooding on your property. Generally, this means that homes will now have a unique rating flood insurance premium rates. Overall, this new rating structure will be called your "flood risk score".

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

There are things that are staying and changing when it comes to calculating your flood risk score.

The remaining features are as follows:

  • Zone designation in the flood insurance rate map (e.g. special flood hazard areas (SFHA) or preferred flood zones) however flood insurance rate maps will only be used from a regulatory standpoint, not rating.
  • Distance to a water source.
  • Prior flood insurance claims or flood claims made with the property
  • Policy assumption and grandfather rule.

The new things that will come with the Risk Rating 2.0 are as follows:

  • Types of floods that your property experience. This can be either pluvial or the accumulated water due to rain, runoff of collected water that flows from higher areas, storm surge and coastal erosion, dam/levee damage or overflow, and even a combination of these things.
  • First-floor height and elevation of the structure. A new feature that determines your flood risk score is the distance between the ground (grade) from your first floor or the first habitable floor of your property.
  • Flood Risk Mitigation Measures made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let floodwaters through?
  • Replacement Cost. How much will it cost insurance companies to rebuild or repair your home when damaged?

Now, since we already understand the new program, let's talk about the upcoming good, bad, and ugly changes to Fort Wayne.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

Good

Fort Wayne's community will have a total of about 810 properties impacted by the changes from the Risk Rating 2.0 event. Starting with the good things, we will see starting October 1st, 2021 that 401 properties, or 49% will be getting a decrease on flood insurance rates.

208 or 23.6% of these properties will experience a $0 to $50 decrease which means that there might be no change in the premiums you're going to pay or you might get less than $600 on your bill compared to your previous one.

A piece of even better news for 25.4% or 193 properties in Fort Wayne is that you'll start to see a decrease that ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month. Simply put, this could easily get your flood insurance policies to become $1200 cheaper compared to when it was in the legacy or traditional NFIP program.

Bad

There are also bad changes coming to the community of Fort Wayne with this new Risk Rating 2.0 program. Generally, this bad change will only have a slight increase in premiums and we will see about 40.5% of the properties experience this change in rates. This means that about 332 properties will be getting an increase in the cost of flood insurance that ranges from $0 to $10 per month.

This can mean that you might not see any change to your flood insurance policies or you might see an increase of $120 per year on your policies with FEMA and the NFIP.

Ugly

Lastly, we also want to discuss the ugly changes to the community of Fort Wayne when it comes to NFIP 2.0.

Overall, about 10.5% or 86 properties and buildings will get impacted by this ugly change. We're now moving into more significant flood insurance premium rate increases. We want to break this number down into two so that you can get a better idea of how your community might get impacted by this change.

About 10.1% will start to see the cost of flood insurance with FEMA and the NFIP becoming more expensive. This means that 83 properties will get an increase on premium rates that ranges from $10 to $50 per month.

On the other hand, the remaining 0.5% or at least 3 properties will start to see an increase ranging from $50 to $90 per month.

Community Rating System

Now, you might be wondering, how can we then help ourselves and lower these flood insurance rates with FEMA and the NFIP? The biggest answer to that is what we call the CPR to flood insurance, the Community Rating System (CRS).

The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is an incentive program that your community can voluntarily apply to. This program recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

When it comes to the CRS, your community will be scored and ranked. The ranking will start with Class 10, being the lowest and can mean no discount at all, and Class 1 being the highest rank a community can get and will get you a 45% discount on flood insurance premiums.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

In order to do this, the community must show multiple efforts on flood mitigation or reducing the flood risks on the community. Being in that higher class ranking means that your community will be rewarded equally depending on your CRS score. Generally, the basic concept is the higher your score is, the more discount you will get.

Fort Wayne, as of October 1st, 2021, is sadly in the Class 10 ranking which means that residents, homeowners, property owners, and business owners who are also FEMA policyholders won't get to see a discount on their flood insurance rates.

Flood Insurance Options in Fort Wayne

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.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

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.

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

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 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 costs, additional living expenses, and loss of use.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Fort Wayne

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.

If you have questions on these new FEMA flood maps, maybe you want to determine your flood zone, knowing your area's average flood depths and flood data, or anything about flood, reach out to us.

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.