Hurricane Ida recently made landfall on Louisiana with catastrophic winds of 150 mph. Ida was initially a tropical cyclone as it makes its way through Cuba last Friday, August 27. However, Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 hurricane as it travels across the Gulf of Mexico and bound to Louisiana. As soon as Hurricane Ida made landfall, there was an immediate drop in temperatures, storms, and heavy rain was dumped on Louisiana, and communities were left without power.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Today, we want to talk about how hurricanes like Ida are impacted by climate change and what it's changing flood insurance.

Climate Change

It's important to note that climate change impacts how extreme weather events can become. We were able to discuss this on our previous blog which you can read by clicking here.

This devastating climate event is also changing how what was used to be minor hurricanes, now becoming more catastrophic and overnight tropical storms can transform into major hurricanes as we've seen with Ida. Generally, this is due to how it's directly impacting the weather, overall sea level, and surface temperatures of water from our oceans.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit the country with the second strongest landfall with 185 mph. In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall at 180 mph and Hurricane Maria also had 165 mph when the hurricane made landfall in the same year. This is generally due to rising ocean temperatures that fuel stronger North Atlantic Hurricanes.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

You see, as our climate becomes warmer, minor tropical storms also get powered by this heat and you can even say that it's like turning it up to eleven. Additionally, warmer waters also create more frequent and consistent heavy rainfall as water vapor is easily condensing into rain clouds due to that extra heat. As we've seen just this year, heavier rainfall and torrential rains can easily create devastating floods.

Earlier this year, we've seen areas like Baton Rouge in Louisiana, Nashville and Waverly in Tennessee, Monett in Missouri, and multiple areas in Alabama get about 7 to 15 inches of rain at a given time only to cause massive flooding and, at most time, deadly flash floods in these areas. 

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Flood Insurance Impacts

When it comes to flood insurance, especially federal flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), these types of considerations aren't made until the coming Fall season this year.

in the current version of the NFIP, one of the big determiners of flood risk and rates are mostly things such as flood zones, elevation, and history of flood data like claims. Honestly, this doesn't really address the actual flood risks of property owners and the overall population. Let's say that Property Owner A is not in a flood zone and Property Owner B is in a flood zone.

This creates a massive confusion between these two property owners as the former would not get insurance thinking that they won't need it "because they're not in a high-risk flood zone". However, we have proven true that these zone designations will never represent the overall flood risk of a property.

You can be outside of a flood zone, but if global warming suddenly melts all the snow from winter and starts to oversaturate the ground, rainwater will have nowhere to go other than these low-lying areas. Even small amounts of rain in given this type of situation, that water from precipitation — heavy precipitation or otherwise — can be enough to cause floods.

Sometimes since these floods have strong currents due to it naturally wanting to flow into low-lying areas, the flood damage is all increased significantly. Yes, even low-risk flood zones will be impacted.

The NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

This changes with the new Risk Rating 2.0 program which measures flood insurance rates based on the flood risk score. The Risk Rating 2.0 will easily measure how these types of flood risks from the ever-changing climate since it will start to look into the types of floods your property is receiving, how frequent floods happen in your area, and distance to any body of water.

The Risk Rating 2.0 program will also focus on flood insurance data that your property has when it comes to determining your rates or premiums. All of these will fall into what's called a flood risk score. Here are the things that are staying the same and the new things that will determine your rates with FEMA and NFIP:

Things that are staying the same:

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 a pluvial flood, fluvial flood, and coastal flood.
  • 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?

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

The impacts of climate change are something that we will never control and is already irreversible. However, we shouldn't focus on the things outside of our control, but on the things that we have power on such as preparing ourselves from these impacts on floods, tornadoes, tide storm, storm surge, hurricane strength by protecting ourselves from these impacts.

If you want to know more on how to get flood insurance, what is the Risk Rating 2.0, what your flood risk score is, click below to reach out.

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

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021, the same day 16 years ago that Katrina made landfall. The storm just might throw another vicious punch at the Ohio Valley area as it looks to bring flooding to an already heavy hit area.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've already talked about the possible results of Hurricane Ida on Louisiana and what approaches the state and the federal government made sure they did to ensure that something like Hurricane Katrina won't happen this year. If you want to read on that blog, click here so you can know more about this hurricane.

Today, we want to focus on the threats of Ida to western Tennessee and Kentucky, not only when it comes to flood, but also the general impact of this weather event on the two states.

Tennessee

The Volunteer State is in the hot seat — should we say wet one — when it comes to this type of weather event. Not a week ago, a small town in Humphreys County was devastated with a huge amount of flooding due to continuous rainfall and this caused a lot of troubling numbers to come up. At least 17 inches of rain was dumped on Humphreys County and Waverly alone. This easily led to very grim results as, unfortunately, this took the lives of at least 22 people and about 50 are still missing.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

Earlier this year, we also saw Nashville find itself in shambles during the Spring season overwhelmed the city, and caused flooding due to torrential rains. Franklin had at least 9 inches of rain throughout the two-day period of the heavy rain. The floods were caused mostly by pluvial factors where the already-oversaturated soil was no longer in shape to suck in more water and lead to immense flash floods. You also have to take into account the rising of the Cumberland River due to the continuous heavy rainfall. Sadly, this flash flood event also took 9 lives in its wake.

At the time of writing, News Channel 5 reported that a lot of threats of flash flooding will be brought about by this Storm Level 5 weather event across Tennessee. This immediately prompted a flash flood watch that was issued earlier today and will expire on Wednesday, September 1st. Aside from flash floods, you also have to watch out for possible catastrophic wind gusts and tornadoes as Ida continues its course.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

It's not absurd to think that what happened back in March will repeat itself. We're expecting a very strong hurricane with Ida and it's important that you have the right protection against floods, tornadoes, or even strong winds if you live in Tennessee. If you are inclined to evacuate, make sure that you don't leave your property unprotected and ensure that you take only the safest routes as we overcome this storm.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Tennessee especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Kentucky

Although news and other reports say that when it comes to Kentucky, Hurricane Ida would have already lowered its intensity in comparison to the Category-4 hurricane that the state of Louisiana had to face this week. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning in place as a preparation for the cold front that central Kentucky, areas like Lexington, and Louisville because once that rain starts, there's no stopping it even for a minute until the hurricane has passed to the East.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've seen this film before and no one liked the ending when it comes to continuous rainfall and you might even feel safer than anyone just because you're not in a flood zone or a high-risk flood zone. However, this doesn't really exempt you from any threats of flash floods. Always remember that when there's a huge amount of rain and water is no longer going in the ground, most of the time this will runoff to low-lying areas and even low-risk flood zones.

Kentucky, especially its central areas, can expect persistent showers of rain starting today up to Wednesday, September 1st. Keep in mind that even though reports would say that there are only about 2 - 5 inches of rain that the state can expect to receive, floods due to runoffs aren't out of the equation.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Kentucky especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Hurricane Ida

Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 after leaving Cuba on Friday and made landfall on the 16th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at Louisiana and the New Orleans area specifically. Sustained winds of 150 MPH with gusty winds that go up to a Category-5. The hurricane was so intense that officials from Louisiana weren't able to order a mandatory evacuation for residents.

At the time of writing, the forecast of rainfall is significantly lower as Ida moves to the eastern coast of the country. Rainfall totals aren't expected to go higher than 6 inches as the hurricane is rapidly weakening as it goes through its course. 

Regardless, it's always better safe than sorry as even relatively small inches of rainfall can be as devastating as the heaviest rainfall. If you have questions on how to prepare and protect yourself and your property from this type of event, what your flood insurance options are in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, or anything about floods, click below.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, avoid getting blindsided by weather events, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long term. You can use the links below to call us, email us, or get a quote from us.

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Buy Flood Insurance Now!

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 Tennessee and how they can impact your flood insurance in the future.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Tennessee: New Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

Tennessee is known for its hot chicken, barbeque, whiskey, and country music. However, lately, the state is also hitting the news for a different reason that no one likes: flood events.

Earlier this year, Nashville went through a massive flood and with the climate becoming warmer and wetter, flood insurance in the state also becomes more expensive. We've already covered how certain additional coverage like the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) and when it's best to file that flood claim for the Nashville flood.

These are just examples of the flood risk that homeowners across the Volunteer State. Getting protection from flooding through flood insurance policies is a great start in making sure that you get to bounce back from flood damage however it's equally important to be up-to-date when it comes to the changes happening in the industry.

A lot of homeowners get surprised when they're moved into a high-risk flood zone or get premium increases since it's something that they weren't aware will happen in their respective communities.

Regardless if you're getting insurance from the federal government or private flood insurance companies, the landscape of the flood insurance industry is ever-changing. Today, we'll be covering the changes coming to federal flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will be changing with the Risk Rating 2.0 happening at the latter part of this year, and we want to help you understand how this can impact your flood insurance with FEMA in the future.

Nowadays, the actual flood risk we face isn't the flood damage after the flood, but the concern of flood coverage or the lack thereof. Is it enough? Are the flood insurance premiums reasonable for the coverage you will get?

The Risk Rating 2.0 will start on October 1, 2021.

The NFIP 2.0

The Flood Insurance Guru | Tennessee: New Flood Insurance Risk Rating 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. 

Note, this doesn't mean that property values will be the sole determiner of the flood insurance rate you'll get with FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program. There's a lot of things that go into this which FEMA has been researching thoroughly. Equally, you should also consider the things we'll list below because not all expensive property or high-valued homes will experience rate increases, and not all lower-valued homes will get a decrease.

These are the things that any flood insurer look into when determining the cost of flood insurance for your listed property:

  • Overall risk of flooding and flood frequencies in communities
  • Designation in the flood zone map/flood map. Is the insured property in a high-risk flood zone or low-risk flood zone?
  • Mitigation efforts such as making sure that you have enough flood openings and having your lowest floor raised higher than the base flood elevation levels in your area.
  • History of flood damage and flood loss
  • History and frequency of flood insurance claims or flood claims in the last ten years

Instead of leaving it to the companies to determine this for you, it's best to also have a great level of understanding of the actual risk that you might face since it impacts the overall flood insurance rating long term. This is why we want to help you find a better investment in flood insurance that goes beyond the policy itself

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.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Tennessee: New Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Good

Let's start this off with some good news coming with the Risk Rating 2.0 update. We have this shown as the green portion of the graph.

The good change will impact 28% or 7,581 of the policies that FEMA has in the state. This will be in form of a significant decrease in flood insurance rates that can be more than $100 (>$1200 per year).

The decrease itself can help a lot of people who are looking to get flood insurance through the federal government and in times where risks like the March Nashville flood can be enough for private insurance carriers to back out, this decrease will be the key to easing that struggle with expensive FEMA insurance.

The Bad

Now, if there is good news, there's also bad news which is very important to note especially for Tennessee since this will take the biggest chunk in the Risk Rating 2.0 update for the state.

About 59% or 16,316 policies will be part of this bad change coming to Tennessee. This brings a crescendo of unwanted tunes when it comes to flood insurance rates since you can expect a small increase from FEMA.

The increase will range from $0 to $10 per month ($0 - $120 per year) which means that you might not even get any change with your flood insurance rates and have to stick with whatever you're paying now. This is why the range starts at the $0 mark.

The Ugly

Lastly, we want to talk about the most important portions since these will pack a punch for those impacted: the pink and grey portions. Both will bring an increase to flood insurance for those impacted however it's notable that the grey portion will have a significantly uglier change. Let's break them down.

The pink portion will impact 8% or 2,162 policies in Tennessee. This will bring an increase of $10 to $20 per month ($120 - $240 per year) for those impacted. This is why it's very much important to heed FEMA's tips on protecting yourself from flood such as installing flood vents as this also protects you from experiencing very expensive flood insurance rates.

On the other hand, the grey portion will impact the last 5% or 1,448 policies in the state. This is what we mentioned before as the uglier change since flood insurance rate increase will be more than $20 per month (>$240 per year). You might even start seeing a $100 increase on your flood insurance per month.

You can see the full graph of these upcoming changes below:

The Flood Insurance Guru | Tennessee: New Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

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. Some would even say that the current NFIP ways are already outdated which really begs for this Risk Rating 2.0 to happen.

If you have questions on these upcoming changes, what are your flood insurance options in Tennessee, 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.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294   The Flood Insurance Guru | Chris Greene | YouTube    Get Your Quote from Flood Insurance Guru

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides resources for homeowners and policyholders who need assistance in rebuilding after a flood. This program and coverage are known as Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC).

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

What’s ICC?

The Increased Cost of Compliance, or Increased Compliance Cost, pertains to the additional coverage and assistance provided by federal flood insurance for those impacted by a flood. This comes in the form of providing extra payment coverage of up to $30,000 to cover the needs of a property for flood mitigation and reduce flood risk.

You should be aware that the ICC is only available for policyholders under FEMA and NFIP. This additional flood insurance coverage is intended to make sure that your property is both prepared and has reduced the risk of flood damage to the building in the future. The additional coverage for flood mitigation is dedicated to making sure that your property or building will be in compliance with the State or community floodplain management ordinances or laws

Flood Mitigation Compliance

When it comes to reducing the risk of flooding and flood damage to your property, there will be a set standard on floodplain management ordinances. There are four types of accepted floodplain management activities to bring your insured building or property into compliance with the community's floodplain management regulations. Let's talk about them.

Elevation

This simply means that the insured building or property is raised to or above the base flood elevation (BFE). This is a very common way of reducing flood risks and flood damage and when it comes to Nashville, you can expect your property to follow the freeboard requirement. This means that your property will be mandated to be four (4) feet above the BFE.

Floodproofing

This flood mitigation activity is only for non-residential properties. Simply put, if you have a commercial property then it should be watertight below the BFE. To do this, you can either reinforce your walls, install a watertight shield for doors and windows, build a drainage collection system, sump pumps, and check valves. 

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

Relocation

Many of you know how this works. Usually what you'd want to happen is to move your property to another location on the same lot or another lot outside the floodplain. This can be the greatest activity when it comes to flood damage prevention however if you're relocating to a new location within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), then the National Flood Insurance Policies has to be compliant too. This means that the relocated building should be elevated or floodproofed.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

Who is Eligible?

It's important to preface that the ICC is only applicable to policyholders of federal flood insurance companies (FEMA and NFIP). For an NFIP flood insurance policy, the qualified applicant must have a federal government loan to start carrying flood policies on properties. For private flood insurance policyholders, you can expect that this will be included in your policy with your private insurer. Once you're insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, your property must also meet one of the two conditions to be eligible for Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

First, your property either was determined to be substantially damaged. According to FEMA and the NFIP, this means that your property was damaged by a flood that resulted in the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-damaged condition is either equal to or exceed 50 percent of the property's original market value. If the total damage and flood loss has an average cost of less than 50 percent of the property's market value, then you won't be able to get the ICC coverage.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

The other condition is if your property meets the criteria of a repetitive loss structure. This is also known as repetitive loss of use which means that the insured property experienced flood-related damage twice over a 10-year period. It's important to note that the average cost of repairs is at least 25 percent of the market value of the building. This only applies if the community has adopted a repetitive loss provision in the local floodplain management laws. 

The Flood Insurance Guru | Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) | Nashville Tennessee

Since we're talking about Nashville residents and considering the severe impact of flood water on the city the past few years and with a high risk for flooding which may cause possible future flood losses, it's most likely that your property falls under one of these two conditions. You can reach out to your community officials or insurance agent to check if you're included in substantially damaged properties or in the repetitive loss list. However, this can be a big problem for owners since both conditions are based on the market value of the property and in Nashville, the ICC coverage maximum of $30,000 is just less than ten percent of the average property values in the city.

As we've mentioned before, Nashville residents who are carrying federal flood insurance from the NFIP and FEMA will benefit significantly from the ICC coverage. It's important to note that this won't be taken out of your standard coverage for buildings and contents.

In order to get an ICC coverage, you should reach out to your community floodplain management and officials to file a single claim in behalf of those who were substantially damaged or under the repetitive loss of use. Once the community validates your property, they will then assign a representative who'll process the ICC claim for you.

Flood mitigation is both an individual and community effort and other than being able to reduce flood risks, these floodplain management activities can benefit your community through participating with the NFIP and getting a high community rating that eventually will reward Nashville with discounts on flood insurance premiums of up to 40 percent.

 

We're way past the time of not being able to fight natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy. If you have questions on the ICC, what best to do when living in high-risk flood areas, flood map updates, flood insurance costs, flood coverage, or anything at all about flood, please reach out to us.

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we'd love to help you protect the value of your property by understanding flood risks so that you too can be prepared when crap happens.

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