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.

Want to learn more about flood insurance?

Check out our YouTube channel and Podcast.

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.

 

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

We're less than a month away from the first phase of the flood insurance changes coming to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through the new Risk Rating 2.0 program.

Will the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Kill the Real Estate Market?

October 1st marks the first massive change coming to federal flood insurance for homeowners across the United States in thirty years, and this also means that a lot of people will be affected outside of the flood industry.

Will the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 program kill the real estate industry?

Understanding NFIP 2.0

The new program from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is sure to change the flow in the flood insurance industry overall as this will have a lot of changes that focus on individual flood risks. We've talked about this in our NFIP 2.0 Series per State and Counties, but we'd like to review it to further contextualize its impact on real estate.

Will the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Kill the Real Estate Market?

The biggest change coming to federal flood insurance is the scoring that comes into the flood risks per property. Simply put this "flood risk score" will take into multiple variables that accurately represent the flood risk of a property — regardless of it being residential or commercial property. This score will be based on some features that are staying and new features.

The remaining features are as follows:

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

  • Types of flooding that your property experience. This can be either pluvial or the accumulated water due to rain, runoff; fluvial or river floods; or coastal which are due to storm surge or coastal erosion. Sometimes even a combination of these three.
  • 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?

So how will this impact the real estate industry and will Risk Rating 2.0 be able to completely kill off sales for real estate agents?

The Real Estate Impacts

As you would notice, we immediately mentioned that flood insurance will no longer be rated based on the flood zone. Simply put, this will only determine whether or not a property will be required to process a mandatory flood insurance purchase based on its flood zone.

For everyone's information, if you're in a high-risk area like flood zone A, flood zone AE, or flood zone V, your mortgage will be sure to require you to get flood insurance.

This is due to the regulation set by FEMA and the NFIP for every property. Mortgage-wise this is to best protect their assets which is the structure of the building itself and ensure that reselling it will be a smooth breeze.

Flood Zone for All

At the current program, flood zones directly impact your flood insurance premiums as well. People who are in the high-risk flood zones get significantly higher rates than low-risk zones (like Flood Zone X). This also means that if you're paying for $1000 flood insurance, that's an additional $30,000 on a 30-year mortgage.

Most of the time, you can hear from agents or mortgage lenders that you're not in a flood zone when you're just in a low-risk flood zone. They really don't mention this until an escrow because low-risk zones aren't required to get flood insurance. High-risk areas, on the other hand, will immediately get notified about their mandatory flood insurance requirement by the mortgage company.

It's factual that both of these properties can get flooded equally given the right circumstances like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ida recently.

With the Risk Rating 2.0, this "not in a flood zone" misconception in flood insurance from property owners, agents, and lenders alike will be eliminated since each property will have its individual risk of flooding. Basically, all properties will experience flood one way or the other regardless of the flood zone.

This type of change is the first blow to the real estate market since it might discourage a lot of property owners to buy a property. It comes down to the question "will I be able to resell my house?" when all properties have flood risks.

Mortgage and Flood Insurance Policies

When it comes to sales of properties, one of the biggest concerns for buyers is affordability especially when you put in that mortgage, homeowner's insurance, and flood insurance. With the Risk Rating 2.0, the goal is to make more people be aware of their actual risk and convince them to secure flood policies for their homes.

When you take a mortgage out on a home, you'll have a secret escrow in form of these insurance policies. This means that moving into a new property will also get you a possibly more expensive loan and payment each month since you will get a more accurate representation of the flood coverage due to your risks.

Will the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Kill the Real Estate Market?

It's important to remember that when you have a flood insurance policy in place, it will be a separate payment from the homeowner's insurance or the mortgage loan per month. The thing is, you can't really escape floods as we've seen with Hurricane Ida in New York, so getting flood insurance is a must to protect your personal property or contents as well as your entire home.

This might cause an effect where people will rather do measures to better protect their own house instead of buying a new one. The chance of people having cheaper homes to get more security when it comes to floods might also go up.

Best Steps Forward

The real estate won't absolutely be killed off by the new Risk Rating 2.0 program since a lot of people will still buy or sell houses. However, it's more likely that the industry will either have to strategize with this new program or get massively hurt by it.

At the end of the day, this new program isn't just for the sake of creating more problems other than the threat of being in a flood plain or waters rushing to inundate your property. This is equity in action for a reason since flood insurance is somewhat getting ignored to the point that it becomes detrimental to one's investments and homes.

We've seen how Hurricane Ida showed that flood zones aren't really the safeguard from flooding since water will never know where and when to stop. New York saw a lot of homeowners clueless on the steps forward to recover from the damages.

The best thing to do is to really think hard about selling or buying a house since it will also include flood insurance one way or the other. Regardless of flood zones, every home will get to see their flood risks and the scores won't be zero.

If you have questions on how to best approach real estate with the Risk Rating 2.0, how to get flood insurance, and how to see your flood risk scores even before the new program kicks in, 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 your flood insurance, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

 

Flood insurance rates can be all over the board. Someone might have a rate of $450 in Birmingham Alabama then someone might have a rate of $2000 in Tuscaloosa Alabama.

So how much is too much for flood insurance in Alabama?

Well before we can really answer that question we need to look at some factors that can impact flood insurance in Alabama.

  1. Elevation
  2. Foundation
  3. Type of Coverage

So lets take a brief look at some things above that can impact flood insurance in places like Tuscaloosa, Pell City, Demopolis, Huntsville, and Birmingham Alabama.

Elevation plays a major role in flood insurance rates. As you can see with the photo below. The further your property is below the base flood elevation the higher your flood insurance premiums can be.

So the rate for a property that is negative -1 foot and a property that is -3 feet could be hundreds of dollars.

Now lets look at foundation types. Your foundation type could play a major role on your flood insurance premiums. Alabama homes are known for having basements which could cause many homes to have a more negative number on their elevation.

Homes with above grade crawlspaces could have an advantage if they have flood vents installed properly. If these things are down properly this may not count as your lowest rated floor. So while the elevation of the crawlspace might be -1 but the next floor is +2 this could serve as a great benefit to the premiums on a flood insurance policy.

Lets look at the 3rd factor which is the type of coverage. This could go a few ways whether you are using the property for commercial or residential use. Then there is the factor if it is considered to be residential or a non residential building.

Remember in order for a commercial property to be considered residential 75% of the living space has to be used for residential purposes.

As you can see there can be alot of different factors.

So lets get back to the question how much is too much for flood insurance in Alabama?

It depends if we are talking about the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance policy in Alabama. While all the rates with the National Flood Insurance Program should be the same many times lack of knowledge on the insurance agents part could cause you to see a difference.

On the private flood insurance side each carrier sets their rates based on the underwriting factors they use to insure a property.

These can be different from FEMA for example some companies will not insure properties in the 20 year flood plain or properties that are in the flood way.

Want to know what a floodway is?

 

So at the end of the day whether you decide to go with the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance policy its all about what your budget is and what you feel comfortable paying each year. Its also important to understand that these rates can go up from year to year.

So if you have further questions about flood insurance rates in Alabama then make sure to click here.

You can also checkout our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation this means we can help you understand your flood insurance, flood risk, and mitigating your property long term.