2020 has been a year that no one will ever forget. There are three things we want to look at in 2020 and how they could impact the future of coastal private flood insurance.

  1. Covid
  2. Social Injustice
  3. Hurricanes



When Covid hit in March of 2020 it caused many businesses to come to a crashing halt.

The hospitality industry has basically been non existent and you couldn't pay someone to get on a cruise ship. Airlines are barely surviving. As this happened businesses turned to their insurance companies for coverage.

However many were surprised to find out that most insurance policies don 't cover this type of disaster. Government put pressure on insurance companies to provide coverage. However its difficult to provide insurance coverage when a premium was not charged for a risk.

As these businesses started to close they started to cancel their policies. This started to impact insurance companies as businesses were no longer needing insurance for a closed business. While this was a minimum impact on the bottom line when you add the next two things it creates a major problem.


                                 Social Injustice

2020 has seen the rise of social injustice and unrest across many parts of the country. Portland Oregon has seen many businesses burned and even Atlanta Georgia saw businesses damaged after a man was killed in an altercation with police. 2020 was problem the first time in 50 years that you have seen moratoriums put in place by insurance companies for selling business insurance.

At one point Target had to close its Minnesota stores because of looting.


                                                Hurricane Season

Now onto the third maybe the biggest thing to impact insurance companies in 2020. The 2020 hurricane season was predicted to be busy but no one predicted it to be this busy. In fact NOAA has had to make several adjustments to their hurricane predictions for 2020.

As we write this blog at the end of October in 2020 we have had 27 named storms, 11 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. and 5 hurricanes have made landfall in Louisiana.

This ties the record for most landfalls in a year within one state. Florida set the same record in 2005.

Hurricane Sally, Marco, and Delta have all created major damage in the gulf states. In fact Delta and Sally made landfall only 15 miles a part.

Like most people in 2020 insurance companies are eating through their reserves fairly quickly and they are discovering that many of their risk models were off.

So what does this mean for coastal states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

In Mississippi we are already seeing some private carriers halt business completely and we have seen this in Louisiana for a few years. Texas has also had this issue since Harvey.

We could see this pattern start to work its way towards Florida and Alabama.

Does this mean flood insurance will not be available?


The National Flood Insurance Program is available for properties where communities participate. It just means that the private flood insurance options could be limited for a while.

This will be a crucial time for you to work with an insurance agency that can defend your risk?

What does this mean?

This means being able to show how a risk may have changed because of mitigation efforts even if it has flooded. We see customers rejected everyday because someone did not defend their property correctly.

If you have questions about what your flood insurance are in these areas then click here. You can also check out our

where we do daily flood education videos. You can also check out our

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property.


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It's the question that gets asked probably a hundred times a week. Insurance agents, property owners, and even banks want to know the answer.

Everyday we see FHA loans fall apart because of flood insurance. Many times flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program can be higher. Then you might have to pay the cost of an elevation certificate.

In 2019 FDIC made a major move in the industry when it started to allow private flood insurance.

People assumed this meant FHA would start accepting private flood insurance. However, because FHA insures loans they have different guidelines they do not accept private flood insurance. As of July 2022 FHA still only allows flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, but hopefully, that will be changing soon.

On November 10, 2020 FHA made an announcement they were looking at accepting private flood insurance. They opened up a 60 day comment period for people to leave comments on this possible action.

So what happens next and what will be the impacts?


What's Next

After this 60-day comment period FHA will look at the comments and probably make a decision by the 2nd quarter of 2021. If they decide to approve it then they would probably delay it going into effect by 6 months. This is what FDIC in 2019.

So what could the impacts be?


The Impact

Well if you currently have an FHA loan then these could possibly cause a major decrease in your mortgage payment. You might see a 40% rate decrease in the private market.


However if this is passed don't go and try to jump to the private market right away.

FEMA has strict guidelines for cancellation. Unless you are refinancing your house you may not qualify until your policy is up for renewal.


In 2019 we saw a lot of people lose money because of FEMA cancellation rules. Many times private carriers require payment up front and charge minimum earned premiums.

This means you might be out 25% of the money you paid for a private policy because FEMA won't let you cancel.


We will continue to monitor this situation and continue to educate the public as this process moves forward. If you have questions about your flood insurance options then click here.

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Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation which means we are here to help you understand flood risks, flood insurance and mitigating your property long term.


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Flood zone AE also referred to as the 100 year flood zone has the highest premiums other than coastal areas. These are generally because most of the structures have a negative base flood elevation. So what determines the premiums of these zones?

Well there are a few things that have a major impact on flood premiums in these zones. The age of the structure, the foundation type, flood loss history, and the elevation of the home.

Let's start with the age of the structure depending on when the house was built it will have a different rating model through FEMA. Its based on the first flood map for structure which generally occurred after 1978. If it was before the first flood map its called a PreFirm structure and if its after the first flood map its called a PostFirm structure. One of the big differences between these two types of structures is called grandfathering where you can keep the property in a preferred flood zone that no longer exists. This is allowed on PostFirm structures but not PreFirm structures.

The next thing that has a major impact on flood insurances rates in flood zone AE is the foundation type. Let's start with crawlspaces above grade compared to subgrade. Above grade is a crawlspace that sits above ground and subgrade is going to be crawlspace that sits partially below ground. The big difference here is subgrade generally will sit a certain level below the base flood elevation which increase the premium. While above grade sits above ground it could still be below the base flood elevation. The difference is things like flood vents can significantly lower the premiums with above grade crawlspaces.
The next type of foundation that will have a major impact on premiums are basements. As you can imagine basements can sit a good distance below the lowest adjacent grade creating a significant negative elevation. This can have a big difference on the rate so its very important to understand this when owning a house and purchasing a house. Also just because a basement is below grade does not mean that it is below the base flood elevation. Now that we have talked about foundations lets talk about how the elevation of the home in a flood zone Ae can impact the rate.The only real way to know this is to have a survey or elevation certificate completed. Now that we have discussed how the elevations of a home can have a major impact on flood insurance rates as you can see from the different foundation types.

Lets talk about positive elevations first and how they can have a big impact. The further your home is above the base flood elevation the better the rate is going to be. If all the elevations of your home are above the base flood elevation your home might even qualify for a letter of map amendment. This means that your property might be removed from the high risk flood zone and placed in a low risk flood zones causing a big improvement to property values. Now lets talk about the impact of negative elevations. As mentioned above basements can cause a home to have an extreme negative elevation. The higher the negative elevation a home has the higher probability of a flood occurring. This can create a double edged sword because the NFIP rates can be through the roof sometimes exceeding $10,000 a year for non coastal properties. However the other problem is the higher the negative elevation the less likely that a private insurance carrier will offer coverage on a property. So these are some things to think about when buying a home with a basement or building a home. we have discussed the impact foundation types can have on a structure lets talk about flood loss history.

Flood losses can have a major impact on a property. It could even stop a property from selling if severe enough. Generally when one flood loss occurs you would lose the preferred rating with the NFIP if you had one. Having a flood loss can also eliminate most of the private flood insurance options as most will not insure a property that has had a loss. However when the second loss and paid claim occur is when disaster can strike. This can turn a property into a severity loss property which has to follow certain mitigation guidelines in order to get insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance is not available on these type of properties. This is why you should really review things closely before filing a flood insurance claim.

Have questions about flood insurance? Click the link below or visit The Flood Insurance Guru Find My Flood Risk & Flood Rate

Rivian, an American electric vehicle automaker, and automotive technology company, already has plans underway for the development of an electric vehicles plant in Georgia. Considering that both Amazon and Ford already joined forces in order to help Rivian get a boost in the industry, these plans may be far from being canceled.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

Today, we want to talk about what impacts this type of development has on flooding for Georgia and some tips on what you need to do with your flood insurance.

Developments and Flood

First, let's look back into the overall negative impacts of urban development when it comes to flooding.

In research from 2016 from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), it's found that urbanization has a direct impact on flooding. In this research for Illinois alone, they were able to find that in a 2-year span, there's a possibility of seeing a hundred to 600 percent increase in flood peak discharge due to urbanization. This data was gathered from Mercer Creek and Salt Creek in Illinois and you should keep this in mind since it will be valuable info later.

When it comes to Georgia, a lot of development is also going on to cater to more housing and urbanization. The same could easily be said for our state. The thing about these floodings when it comes to developments and urbanization is that it simply doesn't increase flooding for high-risk flood zones only.

Generally, all those developments are causing an increase in water runoff because water has nowhere to go. Also, changing the soil that naturally sips floodwater into cement causes this issue with flooding. Most of these waters go to low-lying areas and even low-risk flood zones like Flood Zone X.

This has been proven in 2017 when research from Georgia State University (GSU) also found an increase of 26% in annual streamflow for areas that were developed or urbanized from 1986 to 2010, as well as a doubling of high-flow days for Suwanee and Big Creek.

So, how will this new electric vehicle plant impact flooding in Georgia?

Rivian's Developments

This new development for the electric vehicle plant is considered to be the largest economic development project that Georgia will see in its entire history. The development will cover about 2000 acres of land. 55% of these lands are intended for agricultural and residential zones.

Considering the scale of this planned site, it's no question that this will cause a lot of burdens when waters start to rise and rain starts to pour. We've already mentioned before how changing the natural soil to cement can cause a lot of water to have no place to go but the neighborhood. The city of Social Circle itself is creating a movement to thwart this $5-billion development plans ahead of time.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

The plant is planned to cover land across the Walton and Morgan Counties in Georgia. What is notable about these two counties when it comes to flooding is that Walton has an increased risk for roads, commercial areas, and infrastructure. This is something noteworthy because most of the fatalities we see when there's flood are located or involves road, so this could mean an increase in flooding for these locations can also present dangers for the lives of motorists.

On the other hand, Morgan county is facing more concern when it comes to flooding already as their increasing risks from moderate levels might also see some significant impacts of this development. It's notable that roads and infrastructures might move into a major risk level whereas residential, commercial, and social areas are going to move into more of a moderate risk of flooding.

Flood Insurance Protection

There's no other way out when floodwater starts inundating your property. Flooding has been considered for many years to be the most common natural disaster that happens in the United States. We might not be able to thwart these plans for the plant, but we can still ensure that we will be able to protect ourselves from the expected results of development on that scale.

Flood insurance isn't just insurance for your property but also acts as an assurance that you don't really need to worry about what gets taken by flood damage because you will definitely have coverage for it. Georgia residents can get flood insurance from either front: the federal government-backed through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or through the private flood insurance market.

What Rivian's Electric Plant Development Mean for Flooding in Georgia?

Getting this type of insurance is one of the most important things to have for a homeowner, business owner, and even renters especially in the 21st century. Nowadays, a lot of factors come into play when it comes to the increased risk and amount of flooding we're getting; not just developments and urbanization.

To learn more about flood insurance, how you might be impacted by this development in Georgia, what your flood insurance options are, or any questions about floods, click below to access our Flood Learning Center.

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You can also click here to call us, so we can talk about your flood concerns.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

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.

As the country steadily moved into the Fall season, the southeastern region of the United States was hit by a substantial amount of rainfall. This was enough to cause flooding in some states, but the one most impacted was Alabama.

Alabama Flooding; President Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

A lot of families were faced with flood damage and today, we want to talk about how the federal government — under President Joe Biden, Jr. — are looking to help the victims of the flooding. Let's talk about how the disaster declaration issued on December 21st is going to help the people of Alabama in recovering from the flood loss during the October flood.

Alabama October Flooding

Shelby and Jefferson County received a significant amount of rainfall in October. According to National Weather Service (NWS) Birmingham, Alabama, several waves of slow-moving, intense storms brought estimated rain rates as high as 4-5 inches (100 to 130 mm) per hour late on October 6th, 2021.

The flooding itself was so bad that fire officials said they responded to 282 calls for assistance. This is outside of the 82 rescues that had to be done in homes and about a maximum of 20 for stranded vehicles in Pelham, Alabama alone.

Alabama Flooding; President Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

This event also caused a lot of casualties. At least four people died including children. Most of these deaths were vehicle-related meaning to say that the victims got overwhelmed with water while they are in their vehicles. These people and their respective families are in our thoughts.

When there's a flood, there's also bound to have damages on multiple infrastructure and properties. 

The Presidential Declaration

As of December 21st, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. approves the disaster declaration for Alabama. This declaration is in order to provide federal assistance to the state's residents' wellness and recovery from the damages of the flood. The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Jefferson and Shelby.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), major declarations like this generally mean that provide a wide range of disaster assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.

Alabama Flooding; President Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

How It Helps

The federal assistance includes grants or financial assistance for temporary housing, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in Alabama recover from the effects of the October flooding. Most importantly, this also includes home repairs.

Focusing on the damages of the storm on properties, we want to focus on how this assistance can help recovery efforts for both residential and commercial properties. Damage assessments will be made based on your property's cost to repair and not the cost of repair.

Cost to repair basically focuses on the actual value of your property in its before-damage condition or before it was damaged by the October flood. This also includes any necessary actions to meet the basis for hazard mitigation against floods as set by FEMA. We also call this flood mitigation which acts as the first line of protective measures to reduce the damages when floodwater starts to inundate your property.

Calculating this will be managed by the federal assistance team, but you can also do this by following the formula below:

Alabama Flooding: President Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

Cost of repair generally is concerned with any specific action done to repair a property. For example, getting your paint and tape redone will have cheaper costs and doesn't guarantee that it can bring back the property to its pre-damaged condition.

It's important to keep in mind this major difference between the two as you may also be involved in recovering, repairing, and rebuilding your home. Property damage as a whole will be considered and not just the specific costs to certain repairs being done to your home.

Recovering from flood damage can be very tedious especially now that Risk Rating 2.0 expects homeowners to have all of their properties meet flood mitigation efforts or else face expensive flood insurance rates from FEMA. This is for the best considering that flood loss isn't something to be taken lightly.

Alabama Flooding; President Biden Approves Disaster Declaration

If you have questions on the cost to repair your home, if you have flood insurance and want to know how this can be helped with the new disaster declaration, or anything related to floods, click below to reach our team.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

You can also go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your flood insurance questions.

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If you are one of the eligible homeowners in Shelby and Jefferson County, Alabama, you can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

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

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.

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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.

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We're just a week away from the first phase of the new federal flood insurance program with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The new Risk Rating 2.0 will impact properties across the country when it comes to flood insurance rates.

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0: Fears and Concerns of Flood Insurance Purchase

This new program may also bring changes not only for the flood insurance from the federal government but also the private insurance companies. It's natural to expect that a lot of property owners and consumers find anxiety, fear, and concerns with the new program.

What are these concerns?

Rate Increase

One of the biggest fears and concerns is about flood insurance rates increase with this new program.

There's a bit of misconception coming towards this specific concern. Although we're expecting some increase with the rates since there will be changes to the flood risk variable or how your rates are calculated, it's not true that everyone will get a very big increase.

Like we've covered in our previous blog, this new program is most likely to cause some increase however this is mostly due to the fact that insurance premiums will be based on a lot of variables other than flood zones.

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0: Fears and Concerns of Flood Insurance Purchase

Generally, we can expect that one of the biggest variables that may cause your rate to increase is property values. This is just one of the new things coming into play when it comes to your rate and it will fall as the costs to rebuild whatever flood damage happened to your property.

If you have a cheaper or smaller property then this could really help your case and get that rate decrease with your insurance with FEMA and the NFIP.

Will Risk Rating 2.0 cause an increase in the cost of insurance once it takes effect on October 1st? Well, there's no accurate answer however it's important to keep in mind that you will only be paying for the policy that matches your coverage and flood risk.

To further understand the new rating structure let's do a quick recap of the things coming to FEMA and the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

Everything Risk Rating 2.0

This new program's also called equity in action as the main goal that it has is to provide a more accurate insurance cost when it comes to FEMA and the NFIP through rates and/or premiums. This goal will be achieved by using multiple flood risk factors or what is also called flood risk variables.

It's important to highlight that Risk Rating 2.0 will no longer use flood zones that are seen through flood maps as a basis for the rating. This means that being in a high-risk flood zone like Flood Zone A will only see flood insurance mandatory from a regulatory standpoint.

Here are the things that will be used to finalize your flood insurance rates with FEMA and the NFIP:

Other than the rating system, flood coverage with FEMA and the NFIP will stay the same at the time of writing. Building coverages will max out at $250,000 for residential property and will only go up to $500,000 if it's a commercial property. When it comes to contents coverage or personal property coverage, both will max out at $100,000.

So far, there will be no additional coverages like replacement costs or loss of use. Additional living expenses will only kick in if there's a presidential declaration. The other coverage you may get is the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) which isn't really included in a standard flood insurance policy.

Claims Process

The second thing that most property owners will be surely concerned about is the flood claims process.

Well, the good news is that there's not much change with the flood claims process itself with FEMA and the NFIP.  When it comes to completing a flood claim after a flood, FEMA will be using the same format as they are using before.

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0: Fears and Concerns of Flood Insurance Purchase

You can either call FEMA's hotline or visit their website to file a flood insurance claim after a flood. You still have to make sure that you follow their guidelines such as reporting the damages to an insurance agent or insurance company, documenting the flood loss in full detail, doing the necessary clean-up to avoid further damage, and meeting with an adjuster before you can actually have your insurance payout.

Generally, if this isn't your first rodeo from filing a claim with FEMA and the NFIP, this can be very easy. If it's your first time, there's not really much of a change to its current format. You can definitely get an informed decision when it comes to these claims from us, your agent, or your insurance company.

Mortgage's Flood Policy Rejection

Now, let's move into something that many people don't really talk about and that's the fear that your mortgage lender might not accept your flood insurance policy.

You see, when it comes to mortgage lenders, they do have certain standards that may lead to your policy getting rejected overall. Government loans like USDA loans and VA loans can be one of these loan types that most mortgage lenders reject. This means if you're doing a government loan, the mortgage lender may reject your policy due to the said loan and this is can really be concerning since it mostly falls into the lender's discretion.

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0: Fears and Concerns of Flood Insurance Purchase

There are also cases where your mortgage will not directly reject your policy, but they will have to ask you to make sure that you get more coverage for the property. This is especially the case for a policy that came from the private market or a private insurance company where coverage is more flexible than FEMA's or the NFIP's.

You can also have your policy reject if your mortgage lender deems that it won't be needed. Maybe this is because your property is not in the special flood hazard area (SFHA) or a high-risk zone or was removed from the SFHA due to the letter of map revision (LOMR).

House Closing and Policy Refund

Lastly, what if you're trying to buy this house and you already completed the flood insurance purchase however the closing didn't go through. Your policy will no longer be valid since it's set for that specific property. The biggest question you will have is that "can I get a refund?" and we totally understand since that's a lot of money going nowhere.

The simple answer is yes, you will get your refund. Generally, in this type of closing where a property closing didn't happen (also known as the Valid Cancellation Reason Code 7 or simply Code 7) in FEMA's books, you will be able to get a full refund for the premium including fees and surcharge.

It's important to note however that the cancellation and refund will only go through if FEMA received the cancellation request within 1 year of the new flood policy effective date. All you need to do is to provide the complete documentation that the closing didn't go through and the verification letter which you can also get from FEMA.

Things To Think About

At the end of the day, this update will not get a final verdict since it hasn't even started yet. FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may also add more as the Risk Rating 2.0 goes live. The real thing we should be more concerned about is making sure that you are protected especially during hurricane seasons.

We've seen how devastating these natural disasters can be, so not getting that chance to bounce back from all the loss and damages will be the bigger disaster than the actual flooding itself.

If you have any questions on understanding the level of risk for floods your property has, what the Risk Rating 2.0 means for you, what your flood insurance options are, or anything about floods and flood insurance, click below to reach us.

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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.

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It's been cold then hot and going back in forth with the bad weather day moments we have in the country. Most parts of the country are still recovering from Hurricane Ida and major areas were devastated by strong winds and widespread flooding.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

Today, we want to talk about the recent wildfire event in California that the National Incident Management and Cal Fire are still trying to resolve, how this will impact future floods in the impacted areas and counties, and what these wildfires can mean for floods. We will also discuss how this will impact Lake Tahoe despite being spared from the Caldor Fire.

Flames after the Storm

As we were moving past Hurricane Ida, extreme weather patterns show its impacts as California was hit by a massive wildfire event in the middle of August as yet to be determined cause started the fast-moving Caldor Fire at South Lake Tahoe and spread towards El Dorado and Amador Counties. This prompted President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency for California 

About 220,000 acres of land were engulfed by the Caldor Fire prompting mandatory evacuation measures. At the time of writing, good news came to residents as the evacuation orders were lifted for the entire west area of the Caldor Fire such as Sly Park, Pollock Pines, and Grizzly Flat. The east zone of the state is expecting to get minimal to moderate fire behavior.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

However, it's important to note that the fire is still active for 24 days now with only 50% estimated containment. More than 50,000 people remain evacuated due throughout the region, including into Nevada and at least 664 structures have been destroyed including at least 482 single homes, 11 commercial properties, and 171 other minor structures. The damage assessments continue at the time of writing, so we really don't have an accurate damage report yet.

As the Caldor Fire slows, three new wildfires erupt causing red flag warnings for portions of central Oregon and central northern California. We also have to take into writing that the Dixie Fire scorched more than 900,000 acres across five counties in Northern California since its genesis on July 14.

We hope that everyone will be safe especially in the areas like Amador County, Douglas County, and Placer County in Nevada. If you receive any evacuation warnings, don't hesitate to go to an evacuation center. Please be safe and take care.

The Irony of the Spared Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe was spared from the Caldor Fire however this actually presents an ironic situation when it comes to natural disasters. We've previously talked about the impacts of wildfires, such as the Gatlinburg Fire (Tennessee) in 2016, and other disasters when it comes to natural disasters, and the Caldor Fire won't be different.

Now that a lot of that forest became ashes and the ground that once held it is now scorched, it's very likely that when rain gets dump in the area during cooler weather, it will cause a lot of flooding for California. Forests are one of the best natural protections we have against flood water and since they're no longer in the equation, there's nothing getting between that water and your property. The Caldor Fire was huge enough that it started the haze obscured both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline on August 18.

Areas like El Dorado County, Alpine County, Amador County, and Douglas County are also prone to flash flooding, mudflows, landslides, and mudslides once a sufficient amount of rain gets dumped on this area.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

The biggest issue with scorched land like this is that the ground itself might not be able to sustain any form of vegetation to contain water from rain, if not floods. The ground impacted by both the Caldor Fire and Dixie Fire might not see any green leaves anytime soon. Once that rain hits, it's like water hitting cement. It will go nowhere, but down.

The lifting of evacuation orders doesn't really address the flood that may come after and even Lake Tahoe was spared from the Caldor Fire, once the lake starts to rise it's most likely that the first area we'll see a lot of water is on the South Lake Tahoe and other low-lying areas impacted by the fire.

The thing is only floods and mudflows will be covered by your flood insurance policy. The fire itself, mudslides, and/or landslides will be covered by another policy. We encourage everyone to put safety and your insurance as the biggest priority during these times. We've seen how unpredictably dangerous weather conditions are this year alone.

How Will The Caldor Fire Impact Flooding in California?

Safety First

There's no telling what can happen next and it may sound contradicting, but floods might come any time soon for these impacted areas and nearby communities to the Caldor Fire. As containment efforts continue in the region, we want should be sure to make sure we have enough coverage from our insurance policies when disaster strikes.

If you have questions on flood insurance, how are wildfires cover by your flood insurance policy, or anything about flood, reach out to us by clicking below:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks like the ones that wildfires present, your flood insurance policy, and mitigating your property long-term.

Be safe, be alert, and eureka, California.


A lot of things happened after Hurricane Ida came to the country with its category-4 landfall and multiple states flooded due to continuous heavy rainfall. A lot of businesses were shut down with the impacts of the hurricane, personal property washed away, and homeowners are at a loss.

Disaster Assistance, Disaster Loans, and Flood Insurance for New York

Today, we want to cover how disaster assistance, disaster loans work, and how they would impact your flood insurance. Can you get both flood insurance, disaster assistance, or disaster loans?

Disaster Assistance

When it comes to the application process with the disaster assistance there are two things that must happen first: a presidential declaration for the natural disasters that recently happened, and you must meet certain standards and restrictions to be one of the eligible individuals for this federal government assistance.

Considering what happened with Hurricane Ida and the consistent flood risk in New York even though the hurricane had already passed, it's a good thing that President Joe Biden gave the government a green light for disaster assistance during these trying times, this means that all individuals may be eligible to get one.

However, disaster assistance isn't like flood insurance where you can get one that easily. This has to go through a tedious process for you to get that financial assistance from the government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will first contact you via U.S. mail or email for the next steps.

They will also send out an inspector to survey your home to see if it's livable. Before, this means that they will get inside and on every nook and cranny of your property, but considering the coronavirus pandemic, they will survey it only from the outside.

If they were unable to contact you or saw your property is still livable, then your disaster assistance might get denied. Now, it's important to note that if your insurance already covers all the damages that your property incurred during the New York flooding, your disaster assistance will also get denied. It's also important to mention here that if more than one person applied for disaster assistance, one of these two people will get denied.

Disaster Loans

Now when it comes to disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration loan, this would come into play if you need more financial assistance of $200,000. Most of the time, we see business owners utilize this option to have their business bounce back from any flood damage and we might see it in New York as well.

What's important to note here is that these are low-interest, low-term loans that aren't covered by your insurance by they can get any amount written in your disaster assistance and flood insurance. Generally, this means that you can get all three at once however it's most likely that your SBA loan will collect your insurance coverage, disaster assistance, and put it into one disaster loan. This disaster loan can cover uninsured buildings, contents, or sometimes even vehicles. 

Flood Insurance

Now, we've talked a lot about flood insurance whether it's from FEMA or the private flood insurance market, and the thing is you really won't need to apply for disaster assistance and disaster loans if you have everything correctly written on your policy.

A standard flood insurance policy will cover any flood-related damage for any homeowner and/or any business owner. This coverage maxes out at $250,000 in building damage and $100,000 for the contents within the insured building when getting the flood policy from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Although this recent presidential declaration from Biden would help you also get additional living expenses from FEMA and the NFIP, generally this won't be included in your coverage with federal flood insurance.

Good thing is that the private flood insurance market will be more versatile with its coverage as it doesn't really have any coverage limits. Generally, private flood policies can cover you for more than $250,000 and $100,000 for building and contents coverage respectively. You also get to easily opt-in for additional coverage such as additional living expenses, loss of use, and replacement costs.

It's important to note that even with flood insurance, disaster assistance is still up for grabs however this may impact your flood insurance rates and flood insurance premiums as most of the time, a property that applied for disaster assistance gets moved into a high-risk flood zone.

All of these options will be available for New York especially after what happened with Hurricane Ida however you need to be very mindful of which ones you really need since it can bite you back in the future.

If you have any questions on disaster assistance, disaster loans, how to get flood insurance, and understanding your flood risks, reach out to us below:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

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.

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Hurricane Ida is getting closer to about to leave, but it won't leave quietly.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

At the time of writing, the remnants of Ida caused New York City to receive their first flood warning. At least 8 people are already confirmed dead due to this terrible weather we're getting from the hurricane and this flood warning is a testament that the impacts of any hurricane can come from many ends, not just rain.

Today, we want to talk about what this could mean for flood insurance, how to best prepare and protect yourself from any flooding damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

The Empire State

The concrete jungle of New York City is currently holding on tight as its streets are starting to get inundated by floodwater. A flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) earlier today to give a heads up as there is an expected rainfall amount of at least 3-6 inches of rain.

NBC New York (NBC News) reports that 6 people are already confirmed dead in New York just yesterday and this number is still going up. It's no surprise that the NWS has declared multiple flash flood warnings across New York and New Jersey.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

Among the other deaths reported in New York City, a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died after being found at separate residences, and a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man both died after being found inside a home. This also includes a 19-year-old man who was found dead in Montgomery County. Causes of death and identifications are yet to be announced. 

Police in New York City reported seven deaths, including a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman, and a 2-year-old boy who were found unconscious and unresponsive late Wednesday inside a home according to Providence Journal.

Subway lines also had to shut down due to this weather event and a lot of commuters were stranded for a good while. Twitter is equally flooded with videos of locals showing the heavy flooding inundating cars. Subway Riders also posted videos showing that they had to stand on their seats in cars filled with floodwater.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

All throughout this week, we've been covering a lot about the impacts of Hurricane Ida when it made landfall on Louisiana and caused brutal flooding. After that, we also saw areas in Virginia also face the impacts of Ida just a couple of days ago as a small town in Waverly gets washed away by this weather event.

As of now, a flash flood emergency is declared for the Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Western Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), and Southern Westchester areas in New York as heavy rains are still expected.

New York Flood Insurance

This hurricane hitting the northeast may be impactful when it comes to flood insurance as this proves that given the perfect cocktail of conditions, any place can flood. As we're fast approaching October 1st where the new Risk Rating 2.0 program will start to take place it's important to keep in mind some changes in federal flood insurance that may be impacted by this weather event.

As the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is about to take on a new face when it comes to flood insurance, we should also start seeing the big changes when it comes to understanding flood risks. At our current federal flood insurance program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn't really consider things like climate change and the nature of floods when it comes to their rating system.

Now, we'll start seeing a deeper look into the fingerprint of New York properties' flood risk. Each homeowner will be able to experience the same "equity in action" as FEMA pushes through with this new program. This simply means that property owners are rated based on multiple flood risk variables, which most of the time aren't the same as your neighbors.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

It's equally important to be ready once the flood insurance rate map (FIRM) or flood maps start to change to address this type of flooding incident across New York. Although with the Risk Rating 2.0, the flood zone determination is only needed from a regulatory standpoint, it still is crucial to find the time to understand your risk better.

It may not be a tornado, storm, or flood that will surprise you, but your flood premiums blowing of the roof can really catch you off guard when it comes to these changes with the NFIP.

Equally, this also impacts people who are getting flood insurance from private insurance carriers. If you were to file a claim with your private carrier for the flooding you receive, it's not impossible that you might not get flood insurance from them again since you have had a successful claim in the last 5 years.

Hurricane Ida also showed some of the lapses in understanding how floods work. Looking at New York, one can say that it's not really a flood-prone area in recent years however this doesn't ring true now that we've seen how one hurricane can start severe flooding — even torrential rains can be enough to start major flooding in the area.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

How To Best Prepare

The first thing that we want to remind people is to not ignore flash flood emergency warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). I was scrolling through a tweet on Twitter when I saw a bunch of replies saying that they don't need to worry about all these floods because they're living on the fourteenth floor and things like that. However, water doesn't know the time and when to stop.

You can use your weather app on the phone to check how it's going with or without a hurricane. This also gives you enough visibility for your entire city. Maybe even Spider-Man and Captain America use these apps to get up-to-date.

A lot of people might say that they didn't have enough time to prepare for the possible catastrophic damage that hurricanes and floods can cause, but I digress. Let's all keep in mind that once that hurricane season starts, once winter ends and spring starts, or once rainfall is expected to drop on your area, floods may — most times will surely — follow. Water doesn't know time and flood zones so be safe out there.

If you have questions on flood insurance, how Hurricane Ida will impact flood insurance, what role does time really plays in flood insurance, or anything about floods, click below to reach us:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

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. You too can be prepared when events like this happen.