We have covered most of the changes with federal flood insurance in Hawaii however that episode is mostly focused on Hawaii in general. We want to help you understand the specifics of the impact of these changes especially since we're gearing ever closer to the update on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Hawaii Flood Insurance: Honolulu Risk Rating 2.0 Updates

Today, let's talk about one of the most famous getaway places when talking about unmatchable coastlines, glowing beaches, and dazzling sunsets, Honolulu, Hawaii, and how residents are going to be impacted by the upcoming Risk Rating 2.0 changes with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Risk Rating 2.0: What Changes?

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

Hawaii Flood Insurance: Honolulu Risk Rating 2.0 Updates

It's important to note, however, that this won't mean that the cheapest flood insurance will go automatically to lower-valued homes, and higher-valued homes or expensive properties will cause a big headache for the property owner. It's equally important that we take into account, just like FEMA does and the private flood insurance industry, what's called flood risk variables from expansive flood studies. There are things that are staying and changing when it comes to calculating your flood risk score.

The remaining features are as follows:

  • Flood zone designation in the flood insurance rate map (FIRM). This includes identifying if you're in the special flood hazard areas (SFHA) or 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

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

  • Types of floods that your property experience. This can be either pluvial or the accumulated water due to 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 were made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let floodwaters through?

Hawaii Flood Insurance: Honolulu Risk Rating 2.0 Updates

The Good

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

The good changes will involve an immediate decrease in flood premiums with FEMA. This decrease can go up to more than $100 (>$1200 per year) and will impact 7.3% or 2,897 National Flood Insurance policies in force in the city. We divide these changes into two parts.

The first covers the decrease in flood insurance rates or premiums that ranges from $0 to $50 per month (up to $600 per year). About 1,030 or 26.1% of the policies will be impacted by this change.

On the other hand, you have a better deal with the second part of this good change since it generally covers 371 or 9.4% of the national flood insurance policies in force. The immediate decrease ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 - >$1200 per year).

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

The Bad

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

The increase will range from $0 to $10 per month (up to $120 per year) and will impact about 33,725 or 84.7% of the policies in Honolulu itself. Now, this increase may seem so small, but you have to consider that this takes the biggest percent out of the population in Honoluluwick.

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

The Ugly

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

First, the ugly change will be covering about 1,382 or 3.5% of the policies. The reason why this falls under the ugly change is that the increase is now noticeable since it ranges from $10 to $20 per month ($120 to $240 per year). 

On the other hand, you have the uglier change which is something that about 1,688 or 4.2% will experience. This time around, the increase won't be bearable since it ranges from $20 to $50 per month ($240 to $600 per year).

Lastly, you can also see Honolulu residents fall on the ugliest side. This mostly involves about 148 or 0.4% of properties in the city. Although it's a very small number of people, you have to realize that the increase ranges from $50 to more than $100 per month ($600 to >$1200 per year in annual premium).

This can really make it difficult to go into federal flood insurance and even a harder experience if the private flood insurance market is not available to protect you from floodwaters. Regardless of where you fall on these three, considering that the average premium across Hawaii is about $700, this type of increase can really hurt your budget and we won't even blame you if you want to get private policies.

Hawaii Flood Insurance: Honolulu Risk Rating 2.0 Updates

The National Flood Insurance Program

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

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

Now that we got that out of the way, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverages for the flood damage that your property will sustain. The property will involve both the dwelling or the building itself — either residential property or commercial — as well as the contents or the personal property that's inside the insured home. NFIP flood insurance will provide coverage for the dwelling that maxes to $250,000 and contents that maxes to $100,000. There's also additional coverage that comes in when you're a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which can be enjoyed through the Community Rating System (CRS) and the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

When Will It Happen?

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

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

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

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

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

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

Hawaii has been subject to major flooding in very recent years. We're looking at the incidents in the Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, the series of thunderstorms over Kaua'i and Oahu in 2018, and the most recent one that flooded the Kaupakalua Dam in the earlier parts of March this year.

In times like this when floods seem to be always there and ready to hit you hard, we want to help our friends in Hawaii understanding their flood insurance when it comes to the federal government. We want to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0 on October 1st and what you can do to better prepare and protect yourself from floods.

It's important to note before we move forward that there is still that private flood insurance option available that is known for having shorter waiting period for policies to take effect. However, there's a chance that some communities or areas where the flood risk being too high will cause them to pull the plug in providing insurance for that area.

So, if you want to opt-in with FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, you should start as soon as possible so that you can maximize that 30-day waiting period.

The NFIP 2.0

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

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

When it comes to the rate changes happening across the country, you're going to see these colors in ranges which represent these changes with flood insurance rates from FEMA. Now, each of these colors represents the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to each state.

Let's unpack these and see what they mean for flood insurance.

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

The Good

To better understand these ranges, it's best that we discuss each change per item on the current FEMA flood policies in force in Hawaii right now. Out of about 61,400 flood insurance policies, 13% (7,924 policies) of these will experience what we call good change.

This change means that the 13% of on that green range will get an immediate decrease of more than $100 on their flood insurance rates ($1200 per year). So that average of $700 premium will really go down for those property owners impacted by this upcoming update.

The Bad

On other hand, we're going to look at the most extreme range that will impact most of these policies under FEMA in Hawaii. This is the blue range in FEMA's reports or the 78% (48,098 policies) will go through this bad change.

We call this a bad change because there's going to be a $0 to $100 per month increase on flood insurance rates ($0 - $120 per year) on your flood policies starting this October.

The Ugly

Lastly, let's go over the ugly changes which are represented by the smallest ranges in these reports. The pink and the grey ranges are 5% (2,812 policies) and 4% (2,549 policies) respectively. Both of these will bring an increase to FEMA policyholders and can be very drastic for those impacted. Let's unpack these increases.

Starting with the 5% or about 2,812 FEMA policies will get that increase on flood insurance rates starting at $10 and up to $20 per month ($120 - $240 per year). This can get your premiums to more than $900 with FEMA once this change takes effect in October.

On the other hand, the 4% or 2,549 policies impacted under that last range will get an even uglier change because this will get you an increase of more than $20 per month (>$240 per year). This generally means that your flood insurance premiums will start at that $1000 mark easily and can blow it right out of the water once the NFIP 2.0 takes effect in October.

We made a graph of these changes below:

When Will It Happen?

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

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

So, you want to be very ready for this. We've been talking about this since last year since basically the NFIP is already 30 years old already and is in need of this change. 

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

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

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