When it comes to coverage on flood damage, it's important to know what insurance policy can provide this for you. Sometimes, you may receive a flood coverage rejection letter. Now, you might be wondering what is this document and why is it important.

In this article, we talk about this flood coverage reject letter, your flood insurance coverage, and how knowing this can really help your property be saved from flood loss.

What is a Flood Coverage Rejection Letter?

Understanding Insurance Coverages

In order to understand this letter, first we need to go back to the coverage process and terms when it comes to other insurance policy types.

This is the best time to really mention that when it comes to homeowner's insurance policy, you don't really have coverage for flood damage built-in or included with your standard homeowner's insurance. Most of the protection that this insurance will provide will be for water damage, disaster damage like tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and sometimes even mold damage. However, this does not really cover damages or losses from flooding. What is a Flood Coverage Rejection Letter?

You also have auto insurance on this topic, but the coverage with this policy is only for your vehicular damages. This can be through natural causes like disasters that we mentioned or accidents.

But one thing that you may get from your insurance agent for both of these policies is the flood coverage rejection letter.

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What is Flood Coverage Rejection Letter?

This letter is a document that you are expected to sign to acknowledge that when it comes to your homeowner's or auto insurance policies, you are aware that you won't get coverage for the damages due to flooding from these policies.

The purpose of a flood coverage rejection letter is to really get your confirmation that you are aware that you won't get any flood insurance coverage from these policies.

Sometimes, your agent might send you this letter and if you sign it, you directly reject or decline the flood coverage offered by them. Now, this is important because when a flood loss happens, you may not file for a flood claim since you already signed the rejection letter.

Basically, signing this letter simply means that you agree to not get coverage for flooding.

What If You Didn't Get One?

On the other hand, if you didn't get a flood coverage rejection letter from your insurance carrier for your property or vehicle, then that simply means that they didn't offer any coverage.

Generally, you might need to get a separate flood insurance policy if you want to be covered for flood damages. So, you might be wondering, what are your flood insurance options?

A standard flood insurance policy with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can provide you coverage for a maximum of $250,000 for building coverage and a maximum of $100,000 for content or personal property coverage for flood losses. This is especially true if you have a policy with the NFIP and even with its recent Risk Rating 2.0 update.

What is a Flood Coverage Rejection Letter?

On the other hand, private flood insurance is where you can find more flexibility as their standard flood policy coverage doesn't really have limits. You can generally go way above that $250,000 and $100,000 coverage with federal flood insurance.

To learn more about the NFIP and Private Flood insurance, WATCH the video below:

Get Flood Insurance

Nowadays, flood insurance is a must because flood damage can happen anywhere. As we always say, all properties should have coverage from flooding since floods can happen anywhere even in places that aren't considered high-risk areas for flooding.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Risk Verification Tool

Getting the right flood coverage with your home can really help you reduce the impacts of flood risk and bounce back from a natural disaster like this.

So if you have additional questions that are related to flooding and flood insurance, make sure to visit our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your questions. Click below to start your flood learning with us!

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Let's start simplifying your flood insurance. You only need to follow our three easy steps:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

The flood insurance market is progressively changing as we move into another year. Although a flood policy is a separate insurance policy from your homeowner's insurance, this can still have a lot of impact on your buying power with your home.

Flood Insurance and Your Home's Buying Power

In this blog, let's talk about how the recent changes in the flood insurance market can positively affect your buying power and what you can do to really improve this and make the most out of your flood insurance policy.

Want to listen while reading? Just play our podcast for this blog below:

 

 

Buying a Home & Purchase of Flood Insurance

First, let's talk about my experience in buying a home and flood insurance.

About 10 years ago, sometime in 2012, I was buying a new property to call our new home. However, this new house is in a flood zone and I only had two weeks before closing.

Considering this, the insurance agent told me that my flood insurance premium rates can go up to $3,000. This became a hurdle to us in getting this house. Even if I did, I'm going to pay an additional $250 per month for the house which is a lot of money.

Flood Insurance and Your Home's Buying Power

But I knew that this wasn't particularly right since there were updates to flood maps in the area, the house was in compliance, and the policy can be grandfathered. This helped me turn that $3,000 cost of flood insurance premium into around $300. 

 

Impacts to Buying Power

Generally, this type of situation can also impact your buying power for your home. If you have a federally-backed loan, you can only go through federal flood insurance which can mean that you might get higher flood insurance rates.

It would really be difficult to close a deal when one of the catches is that the new homeowner will have to pay more because of flood insurance rates. This can easily discourage people from buying your house and hurt those who are selling theirs.

Flood Insurance and Your Home's Buying Power

However, this may change in a couple of weeks due to a huge paradigm shift in flood insurance options.

 

What is Changing with Flood Insurance

Although a lot of these things went away with the recent update of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Risk Rating 2.0 such as no longer basing flood insurance rates on flood zones and grandfathering flood policies, flood insurance costs can still have a lot of impact on your buying power.

This is where the upcoming update comes into a beneficial play for property owners who have a Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veteran's Association (VA), or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed that homeowners with an FHA, VA, or USDA loan should have the option to get flood insurance from private insurers as well. This drastically changes consumer choice within NFIP-participating communities as people will have more options to go to protect themselves from flood damage.

Simply put, even if you have an FHA loan, you can get private flood insurance starting December 21st, 2022.

Related: FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

Buying Power and Flood Policies

So, how does this impact your buying power?

Let's look at this before this proposal happened. if you have a flood policy with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because that's the only one accepted when you have an FHA loan, your buying power is negatively getting impacted by this. Potential buyers will have to face higher flood premiums which can add up to their monthly payment.

Flood Insurance and Your Home's Buying Power

Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program has certain coverage limits when it comes to their flood policies. This is where that maximum of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 on personal property coverage kicks in. For some buyers, this may not be the best fit for their budget and needs when it comes to flood insurance.

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Again, this can easily discourage potential buyers especially if there are similar homes that have cheaper flood insurance costs because they have a private flood insurance policy.

So, this new proposal of allowing homeowners with an FHA loan to get flood insurance from private insurers not only help expand the options of property owners but also increase their buying power.

 

Flood Insurance

Nowadays, flood insurance is a must because flood damage can happen anywhere. As we always say, all properties should have coverage from flooding since floods can happen anywhere even in places that aren't considered high-risk areas for flooding.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Risk Verification Tool

Getting the right flood coverage with your home can really help you reduce the impacts of flood risk and bounce back from a natural disaster like this.

As we can see in this blog, this can also help you financially as getting the right flood insurance policy from the right insurance company can really impact your buying power.

So if you have additional questions that are related to flooding and flood insurance, make sure to visit our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your questions. Click below to start your flood learning with us!

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Let's start simplifying your flood insurance. You only need to follow our three easy steps:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

We've recently covered one of the biggest changes coming to flood insurance and options. We're talking specifically about getting the private flood insurance option available for FHA-insured loans.

How To Switch FHA Flood Insurance to Private Flood insurance

You might be anticipating how you could do this and in this blog, we want to talk about how you can switch to a private flood insurance policy even if you have a loan with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

 

FHA Accepting Private Flood

You might be wondering why this change is a big thing for the flood insurance market. It's important to note that if you have an FHA loan you can only get a flood insurance policy with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

However, on December 21st, property owners will be able to get the private flood insurance option with the proposal that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced just his month. One of the goals of this proposal is really to give promote consumer options.

How To Switch FHA Flood Insurance to Private Flood insurance

This upcoming change can really help homes find more security and openness to private flood. It's important to note that, unlike federal flood insurance, private flood insurance coverage doesn't have limits.

Private flood insurance policies have the ability to go above $250,000 (building coverage) and $100,000 (content/personal property coverage). This coverage amount is generally what a standard flood insurance policy with the NFIP offers. Additionally, you can generally also have the option to get excess flood insurance and additional living expenses with private insurers.

How To Switch FHA Flood Insurance to Private Flood insurance

So you might be wondering now how to switch your FHA flood insurance to Private Flood.

 

FHA to Private Flood

Before you start canceling your flood insurance, it's important to keep in mind that there is a process that will allow you to get a private policy with an FHA-insurance loan.

First, you need to keep in mind that you can't immediately switch from your NFIP flood policy to a private policy since you have to wait for your renewal date to switch to admitted private insurers. This means that the switch can only be done on or before your renewal date.

How To Switch FHA Flood Insurance to Private Flood insurance

If you miss this period then you will be stuck with the current flood insurance policy and you will need to wait until the next renewal date before you can get that chance again.

You can only switch to a private flood insurance policy with an FHA-insured loan if you are doing a new loan. Take note that this new loan cannot be a line of credit loan. So, this will only be valid if you're switching from an FHA to a VA or USDA loan.

 

Canceling Your Flood Policy

One of the crucial things that you should do first is to send a signed cancellation letter for your flood policy to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance (NFIP). You would need to have this sent within 30 days of your renewal. This is crucial because FEMA and the NFIP may not cancel your flood policy renewal because a payment was already made by your FHA-insured mortgage.

Equally, you also need to send a copy of this signed cancellation letter to your bank especially if you have a mortgage. This is integral for you to avoid force-placed coverage. Make sure to watch our video below to understand what force-placed coverage is.

Changing Flood Markets

Introducing the availability of flood insurance from the private flood insurance market can really spell good things for fighting flood risks across the country. This move may really help encourage homeowners to get flood insurance to find sufficient protection against flood damage. This is especially true for those who are in special flood hazard areas.

Giving property owners more flood insurance choices either with a federal or private flood policy can really help in making sure that everyone is ready against floods.

 

If you want to know your flood insurance options, how to handle your flood insurance in Birmingham, or anything related to floods, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer these questions for you.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

One of the recent changes to the flood insurance industry is the new proposal to allow FHA loans for private flood insurance.

In this blog, we want to focus on the coverage requirements that you might see now that private flood insurance policies are going to be available for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans.

How FHA Accepting Private Flood Impacts Coverage Requirements

New Flood Proposal

We recently talked about this new flood proposal to further strengthen flood insurance options for property owners. The proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) aims to allow expand the availability of flood insurance options for FHA-insured loans.

How FHA Accepting Private Flood Impacts Coverage Requirements

Generally, this new proposal that's expected to take effect on December 21st, 2022 will allow the purchase of flood insurance through private insurance companies when previously FHA-insured loans can only get a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

We've detailed this new bulletin in our blog which you can read by CLICKING HERE.

Now, one of the biggest questions to come out of this proposal to allow private flood insurance policies for FHA, USDA, and VA loans is coverage.

Coverage with Private Flood

First, let's have a quick review of the flood insurance coverage you'll get from private insurers compared to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Even with the Risk Rating 2.0, a standard flood insurance policy with the NFIP can only offer a maximum of $250,000 and $100,000 in building and content coverage respectively for residential flood policies. This is a different case when it comes to private policies because private insurers don't really have those coverage limits. Generally, this means that you can go above $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for personal property coverage.

With private flood, you may see some sufficient protection for your property. Now, that the private flood insurance market is going to be available as an option for your purchase of flood insurance, what does it mean for coverage requirements for your property?

Coverage Requirements with Private Flood

It's important to note however that a lender can require different coverage amounts when it comes to your flood insurance policy.

How FHA Accepting Private Flood Impacts Coverage Requirements

Currently, when it comes to lenders requiring coverage amount, you might be asked by your mortgagee or bank to insure your property for $250,000 or the amount for the replacement cost of your property or whichever is less between these two. This is generally because FHA loans are following the insurance regulator that's in compliance with the NFIP.

Now, it's important to note here that you are still expected to follow the 80% rule when it comes to the coverage amount regardless if you have a federal or private flood policy. This rule simply indicates that you need to insure your property for at least 80% of its replacement cost.

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One of the challenges with flood insurance policies with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is that you can't really go higher than $250,000. This could mean that if the replacement cost of your property is more than that amount, you might need to get a disaster loan if it's available through disaster assistance. If not, you're basically stuck with that coverage amount with federal flood insurance.

With the new proposal happening, you might see your bank requiring you to get more now that you won't have limits with private flood insurance coverages. This could easily mean that if you have a property with a replacement cost of $400,000, you will be able to get full coverage for it with a standard private flood insurance policy.

So, if your bank tells you that you need to get more flood insurance for your property, it's basically the best-case scenario because this would really help you avoid gaps in your flood insurance coverage.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Risk Verification Tool

FHA Accepting Private Flood

At the end of the day, this change might be one of the best to come for property owners and homeowners across the state. Being able to get a policy from the private flood insurance market can really help avoid unnecessary flood loss.

How FHA Accepting Private Flood Impacts Coverage Requirements

Although the potential increase in your coverage requirements can sound scary, it's more important to really make sure that you have the best protection for your property.

If you want to read our full breakdown of this new proposal from HUD, feel free to CLICK HERE to read more about it.

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

Do you have other questions regarding FHA loans, Private Flood Insurance, or anything flood and insurance related? Click below to access our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your frequently asked questions when it comes to flood insurance.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

Flood insurance options have always been a tug-of-war between federal flood insurance and private flood insurance. Historically, there are certain limitations to what flood insurance options you'll see and one of the key drivers of these options is your loan type.

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

Today, we see one of the biggest changes in the flood insurance industry in general: we will start to see some support for private insurers even for FHA-Insured Mortgages. So, in this blog, let's talk about these changes.

Loan Types & Flood Insurance

First, let's talk about why this is a big deal.

Historically speaking, if you have a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan with your home or property, you cannot get any private flood insurance policy. Instead, in compliance with FHA loan terms, your only flood insurance option is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

This generally leaves a lot of homeowners facing some concerns about their coverage amounts since it's important to remember that the NFIP — even with their recent update of Risk Rating 2.0 — can only offer up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents or personal property coverage for residential properties.

Even if you want to get a private flood insurance policy, it's also very likely that your mortgage lender will not allow it.

The Private Flood Proposal

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

This new proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) looks to eliminate this wall and allow FHA loan mortgages to also get a flood policy from private insurance companies. This means that flood insurance options for FHA-Insured Mortgages are now expanding to accommodate either a federal flood policy or a private policy.

Generally, the goal is that even for FHA loans, flood insurance options are in compliance with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act and allow consumer choice while further encouraging participation from the private sector of flood insurance.

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

This proposal from HUD is expected to take effect on December 21st this year, but before you jump the shark and immediately switch from flood insurance, let's talk about some important things to keep in mind with this new rule for FHA-insured mortgages and USDA loans.

Things to Know

There are some conditions that you need to keep in mind before switching your NFIP policy to a private flood insurance policy.

  1. First, you can only switch to a private flood insurance company that meets the private flood insurance clause
  2. Private flood insurance should also provide you with coverage that is no less than what a standard flood insurance policy offers with the NFIP. This means that they at least need to have that $250,000 and $100,000 for building and content coverage with their offer.
  3. Your mortgagee still has the power to implement or ask for more flood insurance coverage than required. This is so they can protect the mortgaged property.
    FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance
  4. Lastly, you can't immediately cancel and switch to private flood insurance even if this new proposal is already effective. You will still need to wait for your renewal to cancel and switch to admitted private flood insurance. This basically means that if you miss that window of opportunity to cancel during your renewal of flood insurance, you will be stuck with the federal flood policy.

Basically, this means that your private flood insurance still needs to follow the overall expectations that FEMA and the NFIP have. So, you might be asking what are the impacts of this new proposal on the private flood insurance market.

Birmingham, Alabama

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

To answer this question, we will look at one of the states that's no stranger to flood risks: Alabama.

According to FEMA's estimation when Risk Rating 2.0 was implemented, about 79% of NFIP policyholders will see some form of increase of $0 and up to more than $100 in their premium rates. This generally hurt a lot of property owners especially when it comes to the real estate market.

nature

It's important to note here that, generally, properties that sit on Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) or sometimes known as high-risk flood zones tend to scare potential buyers. If your property is in the SFHA, this could also mean higher amounts of flood insurance rates, especially with the NFIP.

You also have no way out of flood insurance since being in the SFHA generally means that there's a mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance. Availability of flood insurance through private insurers simply wasn't an option.

This proposal could change that as properties will have the ability to enjoy flood insurance benefits and private flood insurance coverage. Generally, this could also mean that properties that were finding some trouble in getting sold through real estate will now find more potential buyers as the worry of expensive premium rates and limited flood insurance coverage will be eliminated as well.

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

So, you might be wondering how this proposal can change and what's the big deal about flood insurance coverage with a private flood insurance company.

Coverages Through Private Flood

One of the key differences between a federal and private flood insurance policy is coverage.

Unlike flood policies from FEMA and the NFIP, private flood policies generally have more flexibility when it comes to your coverage. This could mean that you can definitely go above that $250,000 building coverage limit.

This can be a big help for property owners with more expensive properties. The same can be said for content coverage; you won't see coverage limits of $100,000 for personal property that you have within the insured building.

Additionally, some private flood insurance companies are also willing to provide excess flood insurance and some additional coverage such as additional living expenses. This coverage can easily provide coverage for the rent and other expenses you have as you wait for your property to be repaired.

FHA Accepting Private Flood Insurance

Generally, you might be seeing more coverage and a quicker process for your flood insurance since most private flood companies only have up to 15 days for their wait period.

Flood Insurance Claims

Another big thing coming out of this proposal is that flood claims will basically find a reset. If you choose to go through the private flood, your claims history with this new insurer will be coming from a clean slate.

This means that you may not see a premium rate increase due to the previous claims filed on the property when you were still doing a flood policy with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Risk Verification Tool

However, it's important to note that flood insurance claims are one of the main determiners of whether or not your property will fall into the repetitive loss (RL) or severe repetitive loss (SRL) list. This could mean that if your property is listed as SRL, you might not be able to switch to private flood as these properties are required to get flood insurance through NFIP Direct.

Accepting Private Flood

Overall, this new proposal from HUD can really help FHA-insured loans when it comes to your flood insurance options. Does this new proposal also mean that you can't go back to NFIP once you make that switch to private flood? No, you can still go through FEMA and the NFIP in case you changed your mind or find the federal flood insurance to fit your needs.

Since this proposal is very new, we still need to wait for an official word if switching to private flood insurance providers will be available for homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages and who are in a nonparticipating community.

Get A Quote

It's also important to note that the HUD is looking to review this which is why they are open to hearing comments regarding the acceptance of private flood. So if you want to review this proposal, click you can refer to its official announcement by CLICKING HERE.

If you've got questions regarding this new proposal, whether can you switch to private flood, how to switch to private flood, or anything related to flood insurance, click below to access our flood learning center.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

 

Last year, September 1st, 2021, marked the beginning of the changes to how flood insurance works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). You might be one of the property owners who faced these changes head-on. This initially impacted the newly acquired policy on the aforementioned date.

National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: One Year Later

In this article, we look at Risk Rating 2.0 and understand its overall impact on federal flood insurance, addressing flood risks, and how it impacted property owners throughout the United States.

Risk Rating 2.0: A Lookback

It's been years on end before the federal flood insurance was able to overhaul and update how they approach flood insurance. This came through the Risk Rating 2.0 program which aimed to address the risk of flooding across the United States.

This goal looks to provide a more accurate flood risk rating across the country. This also meant that your flood risk will be measured for multiple items. Here's how your policyholders are being rated based on Risk Rating 2.0. Here's how your rating methodology is changing:

  • Zone designation in the flood insurance rate map (e.g. special flood hazard areas (SFHA); preferred flood zones)
  • Distance to a body of water such as a river, lake, or even the coastline
  • Prior flood insurance claims or flood claims made with the property
  • Policy assumption and grandfather rule

National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: One Year Later

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

  • Flood type that your property experience. This can be either pluvial or the accumulated water due to heavy rainfall, 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?

These changes were the goals of Risk Rating 2.0, but how did it really impact flood insurance a year after the implementation of this program?

Are Flood Risks Being Addressed?

After so much talk about the changes to federal flood insurance that FEMA will bring to homeowners and property owners across the United States, it's only common to ask if the risks are being addressed by these changes to flood insurance policies with the NFIP.

In order to answer this, we need to dive deep into its impacts. Let's start with the flood insurance premium rates with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) after Risk Rating 2.0.

Flood Premiums

We've covered this in our multiple blogs about Risk Rating 2.0 and this might be one of the questions that you are asking yourself: how does Risk Rating 2.0 impact my premium rates?

Generally, in FEMA's own report, about 77% of homes will be seeing some form of an increase in flood premiums with the Risk Rating 2.0. These premium increases vary from $1 up to more than $20 in monthly premiums.

Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action | FEMA.gov

To break it down for you, FEMA estimated even before the Risk Rating 2.0 program happened that at least 66 percent of homeowners will be seeing an increase of $0 to $10 per month or simply up to $100 annually with the policies.

This is because the Risk Rating 2.0 is showing more of the risks that each property is facing compared to simply just basing it on flood zones from flood insurance rate maps. Now, this part is important on how the changes to flood zone impacted flood insurance overall.

National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: One Year Later

Flood Zone Requirements

One of the biggest things that came out with the Risk Rating 2.0 is how it addresses flood zones. In the Legacy Program — you might call it Pre-Risk Rating 2.0 or NFIP 1.0 — your flood zones generally tip the scales of whether or not your rate increases.

With the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0, these flood zones in your community's respective flood maps will only be used to see who's required to buy flood insurance. This means that if you're in a high-risk flood zone, like Flood Zone A also known as Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you will definitely be required to carry flood insurance either by the state or your mortgage.

How did this impact risks for properties across the U.S.? A lot of insurance agents like us saw that people find that they have to adjust when selling individual properties due to the property value being impacted by these risks and the flood insurance requirement.

National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: One Year Later

Number of Flood Policies

You might think that these changes are going to encourage more people to get flood insurance. We can't blame you, but considering the economical status of the United States with things getting more expensive, these increases on flood premiums might just be a thorn against buyers' and policyholders' side.

In August of this year, PreventionWeb reported that at least a 9% decrease happened to the total number of FEMA flood policies between the months of September 2021 and June 2022. This is around 4.96 million going down to 4.54 million across the country.

We also saw the same pattern where most of the residents of Mississippi don't have an active flood insurance policy. In this case alone, only 3% of Mississippi properties will have protection against flood damage in any potential flood event.

This is equally observable, especially in preferred risk areas wherein a 34% drop was noticed in the reports of E&E News. This means that policies decreased from 1.91 million on Sept. 30 to 1.26 million on June 30.

It's only fair to mention however that Risk Rating 2.0 also began to eliminate elevation certificates as a required document for buying flood insurance. Only time can tell whether or not this change with elevation certificates will positively impact the number of flood policies considering that getting an elevation certificate can really help lower flood insurance rates.

National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: One Year Later

Are Flood Risks Being Addressed?

So, we go back to this question: does Risk Rating 2.0 really address the risks of both floods or is it creating a bigger risk with how it managed to approach flood policies across the country? In our take, Risk Rating 2.0 is a big uphill climb in addressing the actual needs of homeowners when it comes to flood insurance.

Just like anything, only time can tell where we'll go from here. Let us know your answer to this question.

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form —Get Your Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

 

 

Flood insurance rates can hurt the wallet. Wouldn't be nice if your wallet was impacted less? The NFIP is trying to modernize the program to do that.

In this blog we will discuss this problem, the solution that is being offered, and how to put time and money back into your life by simplifying these changes

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

However, even with this update — which was made live for all policyholders on April 4, 2022 —, a new legislative proposal is still at hand. Let's talk about the seventeen (17) proposal reauthorization with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and how it can impact flood insurance.

The NFIP Reform

Congressional leaders outlined in their Legislative Package Reform some of the principles they are planning for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)'s priorities in the long run.

It's important to note that despite the changes with Risk Rating 2.0, there are still a lot of concerns that flooded residents outside of flooding alone. One of the biggest concerns is flood insurance premiums being too high for most policyholders.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Hence, the NFIP proposal for reform is intended to include the following things which boil down to the following:

  • Affordability of flood insurance for low-and-moderate income families
  • Risk communication and flood risk mitigation
  • Reducing flood risks and addressing repetitive loss properties
  • A sound and transparent financial framework

So what do these four entail? Well, look no further as we'll discuss it here.

Financial Framework

First, we need to address the biggest concerns that residents have with federal flood insurance: flood insurance rates.

It's no secret that there are bound to be some increases on your premium rates once that RIsk Rating 2.0 kicks in. We can owe this to the fact that your full flood risk is being taken into account when it comes to your policy.

1. Making NFIP Sustainable

One of the biggest concerns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP is that it's still reeling from the debt it has which increases per year.

The proposal looks to clarify the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA) to support full-risk rates. This way, a sounder financial framework is being established for policyholders.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

A full-risk premium rate with flood insurance is the rate that's being charged to a group of policies. Generally, this causes the premium rate of flood policies to be calculated as a group to make it more sufficient to pay any anticipated losses and expenses.

This means that if you're doing a policy that covers multiple buildings, you might find it easier to manage your premium rates as this will follow a full-risk rating method.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

2. Borrowing Authority

Another thing coming up with this proposal is aiming to eliminate interest for future debt and decrease how much the NFIP can borrow. This means that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is only allowed two-thirds of total premiums in force.

It's important to note that this has a direct impact on the availability and affordability of flood insurance with the NFIP.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

3. Financial Resilience

The NFIP proposal also looks to provide some form of resiliency and reliability with the federal flood insurance option.

This comes in the form of allowing liquidity in order for you to be able to quickly get your flood insurance claim paid. This also looks to provide that without any problems in the future.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Communicating and Analysing Risks

Another thing — what might be the most important one — that the proposal is looking to reform is how residents get information on their property's flood risk.

Here are the new provisions that this NFIP reform is looking to propose.

4. Risk-Informed NFIP

There are two things that this item covers: flood maps and information on flood risk.

FEMA is looking to simplify and provide clarity on how flood insurance rate maps really impact federal flood insurance. So, instead of simply saying that your house is in a flood zone, this reform aims to provide an understanding of where flood insurance is required.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

This is really important considering how Risk Rating 2.0 is moving flood zones as a regulatory basis for flood insurance and not premium rates.

Now, when it comes to risk information, the proposal aims to enhance flood insurance products that help understand what flood risks really are and, rates-wise, how they impact flood insurance quotes and policies.

5. Flood Risk Disclosure

Another concern that this NFIP reform is looking to change is how flood risk is being shared with property owners.

Generally, the property's flood risk is either made known to the buyer after the real estate transaction or during the sale. This also applies to renters and not just property owners. Hence, the proposal looks to require full disclosure for participating communities on what risks the houses are facing when it comes to flood risk.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

For floodplain management of participating NFIP communities, this means that there must be at least a minimum flood-risk report sent to the seller and lessors before they even close the deal.

Simply, this means that you will get to see firsthand the flood risk you are facing.

6. Replacement Cost Value & Premium Rates

For this one, the proposal is more concerned with how premium rates are being calculated. This reform looks to use the replacement cost value (RCV) or the value of the property in determining the flood insurance rates.

Generally, this looks to help you get a sign and understand the true risk for flooding that your property is facing. This proposal somewhat echoes what Risk Rating 2.0 aims to do which is to accurately provide flood risk.

7. Coastal Zones and Inland Areas

Another thing that we're seeing with this proposal is how coastal zones and areas are being separated from inland locations.

We have seen how flood zones are being overhauled to also address the flood risks for coastal areas such as the Coastal AE zones. This is being done in order to get a better understanding and rating for the two different areas.

Improving Resilience

8. Multi-Year Reauthorization

One thing that most people might not know about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is that its original authorization expired in September of 2017. You might be wondering by now, how were they able to provide flood insurance in the past few years?

This is because the NFIP is clinging to short-term extensions. However, the proposal is looking to extend the reauthorization up to September 30th, 2031.

Getting authorization means that FEMA and the NFIP will be able to provide flood insurance for residents across the country until the next 9 years. This also means that they get to sell and service flood policies even during a lapse of appropriations.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

9. Means-Tested Assistance

Now, this is one of the biggest things coming out of this NFIP reform program is how low-to-moderate incomes are being considered when rating properties.

What does this mean? Flood insurance policies will be easier to manage because of the graduated discount benefit for both current and potential residential properties that will purchase flood insurance from these areas.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

You might be wondering what's being considered low-to-income households. According to the proposal, these households are those that fall at or below 120% of the Area Median Income.

At the time of writing, the initial estimate of median household income is around $76,000 in a report from April 2022. Now, it's important to note that this consideration depends on where you are.

10. Excessive Loss Properties

A new form of loss properties is being added with this proposal termed "Excessive Loss Properties" or simply XLP. A property is going to be listed as XLP if four or more flood claims and their respective payments of at least $10,000 were made in the life of the property.

Due to this indication of constant flood loss on the property, FEMA will have the discretion to not provide flood insurance. This means that if your house is listed as XLP — due to more than 4 instances of incurring flood damage — you won't be able to go through federal flood insurance for your policy.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

It's important to note that an update to repetitive loss (RL) and severe repetitive loss (SRL) definitions are also in place with the existence of the XLP. A property will be considered a repetitive loss (RL) if it incurred two or more separate claims payments of any amount that goes beyond the loss-deductible in your flood policy.

On the other hand, a property will be listed as severe repetitive loss (SRL) if it incurred flood damage and receive a claim payment for four times or more. The claim must be $5,000 with a total amount of $20,000.

How To Get Out of Repetitive Loss

It's important to note that it's not the end of the road if you were to get listed as an RL, SRL, or XPL, you can still have your property removed from that list and avoid increased rates and/or unavailability of NFIP insurance.

The only way to do this is to have your property follow and comply with flood mitigation standards set by your state's floodplain ordinances.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

11. Compliance & Mitigation Coverage

Another good thing coming from this proposal is that following and complying with flood mitigation standards will allow policyholders to get higher coverage limits.

It's important to note that the NFIP still follows the $250,000 limit for residential policies and the $500,000 limit for commercial policies when it comes to building coverage. This also includes the $100,000 content coverage limit.

This is being proposed to change depending on how much mitigation you have on your insured property. Simply, the more mitigation you have against flood, the higher coverage limits will be offered for your flood insurance.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

12. Effectiveness of Mandatory Flood Insurance

Flood insurance with the NFIP would automatically be required for properties that are in the high-risk zone. It has been this way from the Legacy Program up to the current Risk Rating 2.0.

However, the proposal looks to study if the NFIP's requirement when it comes to mandatory flood insurance meets Congress' goal to increase the number of residents, both renters and property owners, covered by flood insurance in low-income areas.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

13. New Construction Properties

An important proposal that the NFIP reform includes is that there might not be a federal flood insurance option for properties that are new construction or under construction in high-risk areas like Flood Zone AE. This proposal is also applicable to commercial properties.

This aims to promote the private flood insurance market which is constantly growing. The NFIP will be looking to increase the competition for flood insurance companies on the private side to provide coverage for these highest-risk areas and commercial properties.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

14. Increasing Coverage Limits

Considering the increased housing prices in the country, the endorsement is also looking to increase the limits on flood insurance coverage provided by the NFIP.

This means that we might not be seeing a $250,000 and $100,000 limit in building and content coverage respectively. The proposal mentions that this is due to property owners being underinsured in the event of a total loss. We will have to wait and see what this coverage increase will offer for NFIP policyholders.

 

Technical and Operational

Lastly, there are some technical and operational changes coming from this proposal as well. This involves filing a suit, reporting complexities, and removing barriers to switching to private flood.

15. Period to File Suit

Now, it's possible that there might be an instance where your flood claim with the NFIP will not go through. Although this is the worst-case scenario, it's still good to know the clarifications being made when you file a suit.

The proposal states that you must exhaust the administrative appeals process before starting a lawsuit. This also means that you only have no later than 90 days from the appeal decision date to file a suit if any.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

16. Reducing Reporting Complexities

The NFIP is also expected to get a reduced number of reports to file for congress. The proposal is looking to change the 15 reports in a span of two years will be brought down into 4 reports only while making sure that the information being provided is still timely and sufficient.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

17. Removing Barriers for Private Flood Insurance

Although this proposal is offering the thirteenth item in somewhat favor of private flood, they are also balancing this with this removal of barrier when switching to private flood.

What does this mean? The proposal says that policyholders who have a lapse of NFIP coverage, generally due to switching to private flood, won't have the premium discounts they have with the NFIP.

This means that if you ever switch to private flood and eventually switch back to the NFIP, you might be seeing a very different increase because they won't allow you to retain the discounts on premium rates you once had.

Modernizing The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

As we mentioned, there are a lot of changes coming to federal flood insurance, but will these proposals be better for policyholders and give you a competitive option with FEMA and the NFIP? For now, only time can tell.

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form by clicking here.
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

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We want to help simplify flood insurance for you so that you can find more time in enjoying life's beauty.

Flood insurance — just like any insurance policy — is bound to have a lot of documents attached to it. It's important to know the purpose of these. In this article, we want to talk about federal flood insurance and what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) acknowledgment form is.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

Federal Flood Insurance

Communities across the whole United States have been getting a lot of changes when it comes to flood insurance on the federal side. This flood insurance is managed by FEMA and its most popular carrier, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Since April 2022, the whole NFIP system has been moved to follow the Risk Rating 2.0 which changed a lot of things when it comes to flood insurance especially when it comes to premium rates. There are good, bad, and ugly changes with this update however some things simply don't change.

Federal Emergency Management Agency - WikipediaEverything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

Just, for example, the definition of flood still stays the same when it comes to flood insurance. If two parcels of land or two properties are impacted by water then this is the only time it will be considered a flood event.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

Another thing that didn't change is how both FEMA and community officials still require flood insurance for properties or sometimes even communities that are in a high-risk flood zone like flood zone A or flood zone AE.

So, if you're thinking of going through FEMA, this information is good to know. Don't worry, we have covered a lot of topics when it comes to FEMA and its changes on our website.

FEMA Acknowledgment Form

When purchasing flood insurance, it's basically tradition at this point that you receive an acknowledgment form of your policy. However, one question that policyholders usually first think of is if this is legit.

Yes, this acknowledgment form is legit and it serves as some proof that you have received a copy of your flood insurance policy. The thing about FEMA is that they don't just have the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help them support this new "equity in action" objective they have.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

What we mean by this is that due to FEMA being partnered with NFIP as well as Write-Your-Own flood insurance carriers, you may be able to see a different name that's not FEMA as your insurance provider. If you need to know more about Write-Your-Own (WYO) carriers, click here to go to our blog post on this topic.

Now, you might be wondering how you would be able to determine if the acknowledgment form is legit and valid. Well, here are something that you should be able to see with that acknowledgment form.

Declarations Page

This page — sometimes referred to as simply "dec page" — will tell you relevant information about the flood policy. The declarations page should include the name of the intended insured (usually the property owners' name), the property address being insured, the flood insurance carrier, and coverages.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

Before we move forward, it's important to reiterate that the flood insurance carrier isn't always the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as the Write-Your-Own (WYO) carrier's name might be your insurance provider. The declarations page with your acknowledgment form should be able to inform and show you this information.

When it comes to coverage, on the other hand, we need to remember that when doing a flood policy with FEMA, there are some coverage terms and limits you need to know. This includes the $250,000 coverage limit for residential properties and this will only go higher if you're doing a commercial policy with a $500,000 building coverage limit. Regardless of the property type, only a $100,000 coverage limit will be provided for content coverage.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

But what else should you expect when receiving an acknowledgment form in your mail?

List of Flood Losses

Another item that you might be able to see whenever FEMA is sending you this form is the list of the flood losses that the insured property has. Now, this is important as this may also serve as an explanation for your rates considering the claims variable that Risk Rating 2.0 has.

This list helps determine what claims variable the property is in and also helps you understand the potential flood risk you might face due to the property's flood history.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

NFIP Handbook

Lastly, you should be able to receive what's called the NFIP Handbook.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a lot of terms and conditions when it comes to flood insurance. This also covers your coverages and aims to help you understand how flooding and flood insurance works.

Everything You Need to Know about FEMA's Acknowledgment Form

So these are the things you should expect to receive when you're getting that acknowledgment form from FEMA. Flood insurance can be complicated at times and we want to help you avoid all of this hassle. If you have questions on flood insurance, go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all of your flood insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Ready to solve your flood insurance problems? Here are the steps you can take:

  • Fill out this form by clicking here.
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

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We want to help simplify flood insurance for you so that you can find more time in enjoying life's beauty.

So you want to buy a flood insurance policy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Well, you won't have to worry about how to get a policy directly from FEMA because there is the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program?

In this article, we talk about everything you need to know about WYO policies and why the Write-Your-Own Policy helps make the process of getting flood insurance coverage from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) easier.

Write-Your-Own Policy

When looking at flood insurance options, you'd be remiss to think that the NFIP and Private Flood Insurance are two separate worlds that can never meet.

This is far from the truth as FEMA and the NFIP actually built a cooperative in 1983 as a form of partnership with the private flood insurance industry. This is called the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

This created a system wherein you don't need to bother and go through all the hassle of getting a flood policy from FEMA.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program helps you find an alternative way to process your NFIP policy through other insurance companies. At the time of writing, FEMA reports that there are at least 50 participating insurers or carriers.

If you want to see what insurance companies are participating in the WYO program, CLICK HERE to go to FEMA's official list.

What's The Difference?

Now, you might be starting to wonder: what's the difference then?

When it comes to the Write-Your-Own, it basically allows other insurance companies outside of FEMA and the NFIP to provide insurance support for operations and everything needed to write an NFIP policy. This makes it easier and quicker to understand your flood risks, especially with the updated Risk Rating 2.0.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

The insurance companies participating in the WYO are allowed to both process the writing of your flood policy, managing of the documents, and use their resource to help you get your flood insurance easier.

The same also applies when you file a flood claim where you will see the participating company to help you get your flood insurance claim get processed.

It's important to note, however, that policies that are written under the WYO still follow FEMA and NFIP's coverage and rates. This should be your heads up especially considering that all federal flood insurance policies are now officially following the new Risk Rating 2.0 program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, this means that you will still see a $250,000 limit for building coverage for residential properties or up to $500,000 max for commercial properties with a $100,000 contents coverage.

Getting a WYO policy also means that floodplain management regulations (i.e. flood insurance rate map) set by the federal government will be strictly in place and participating companies are expected to follow it.

Want To Learn More?

If you want to know more about the benefits and differences between the Write-Your-Own Program and NFIP Direct, listen to our podcast below or read our blog post on Write-Your-Own and NFIP Direct:

 

If you still have questions on flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center. You could also contact us so we can discuss your flood insurance needs.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

As the whole country moves out of the winter season, saying goodbye to all that snow might not be quick after all. One of the secrets of this transition from the snow-filled streets to blooming trees is the threat of flooding.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Today, we want to talk about snowmelt, how it impacts flooding, and how flood insurance helps in protecting yourself from snow.

Spring Floods in 2022

Farewell to our cool friends from the month of December (see what we did there?) and hello to a warmer climate. For some this is a breath of fresh air since, let's be honest, the winter season had its fair share of annoyances like slippery pavements and the need to constantly shovel snow for areas that experience a lot of snow like the midwest region.

However, this shift might be presenting a bigger concern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the warmer climate also presents the possibility of drought and spring floods across the West, Midwest, and Southeast.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Why are NOAA and other National Weather Service (NWS) are worrying? We got a lot of moisture from winter, Chris.

This is exactly the case when you start to look into flooding. As we move into the warmest season of the year, Summer, it's important to note that all that ice and snow will start to melt.

When you have oversaturated soil, it only takes a small rainfall to transform these into water.

Lookout! Spring Floods in 2022

NOAA considers a lot of factors other than snowmelt when it comes to what's called the spring flood that we may see in May. These things include drought, the current status of snowpacks, saturation levels, frost depth, and streamflow.

These things separated don't really cause floods, but they are ingredients to the worst cocktail you might experience. However, it's important to note that flood threats don't just pertain to that overflow of water from rivers, lakes, or creeks. We all know by now that even consistent rainfall can create damaging floodwaters.

We've actually seen this happen last year in the state of Colorado. You can read our blog on it by clicking here (Snowstorm in the Centennial State: Impacts of the May Spring Runoff).

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Considering that there was very late precipitation in fall and winter, the ground that we have during the first months of Spring would still be too wet to take in more water. Major flood risks are being expected from areas near the Red River, Ohio River, and the James River.

This isn't a problem that's specific to areas covered by snow like Ohio where there can be 2 to 4 inches of snow on average, but also to low-lying areas. Once these areas' respective ground couldn't take any more water, all that water won't stop and actually go to low-lying areas.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

 

Once you include drought in the equation, then you're just looking at heavy rain and even small amounts of precipitation to be water hitting cement.

This is why NOAA's recent outlook sees areas like the Ohio Valley to be at above-average levels when it comes to flood risks during the spring. This simply means that Ohio is expected to see more floods and runoff during the blooming season. This is the concern of NOAA due to the melting of ice, snow, as well as precipitation as we move into a warmer climate.

How Flood Insurance Helps

We're going, to be honest, a mere flood policy won't be able to change the flood threat that you're facing in Ohio or control its flood stage. However, just like a role-playing game, flood insurance has all the defense stats you would need to avoid getting snared by the violent spring runoff.

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Flood insurance actually covers damages from all types of flooding including spring runoff or spring flood. This simply means that regardless of the floodwaters coming from snowpacks melting, storms, or major rivers cresting, you will find peace of mind knowing that you can fight those losses.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

A standard flood insurance policy can cover all of the damages due to flooding on both your home or dwelling and everything inside of it. Depending on where you're getting your flood insurance, you might see different coverage amounts.

For example, getting a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will cap your coverage amount for building damages to $250,000 and $100,000 for contents.

The same can't be said for private flood insurance companies. Private flood is known for its quick turnaround time to have a policy take effect on an insured building and more flexible coverage amounts.

Need more help in preparing for spring floods? Click here to read our guide on "How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season".

Bloom in Spring

Spring flood is becoming a yearly concern for the United States, so it's best to know why such an important change from winter to spring can impact you. After all, we are talking about our safety.

If you've got questions on spring floods or anything about flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we answer your flood insurance questions.

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flooding, flood insurance, and protecting you from all types of flood risks.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294