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.

Get A Quote

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.

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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.

 

Flood insurance can be complicated especially when it comes to the coverage it offers. We're here to clear things out so you can make the most of your flood policy and get time back so you could focus on the best things in life.

In this article, we want to discuss full coverage when it comes to flood insurance. Does it exist? How does it work? What does it mean?

What is Full Coverage Flood Insurance?

Full Coverage

When it comes to flood insurance, it's best that we settle things straight. Technically, there is no such thing as full coverage. This phrase is only used by some insurance agents to describe the potential coverage that you will get for your property with a standard flood insurance policy.

It's important to remember that your homeowners' insurance policy generally does NOT have coverage for flood damage. Since a separate insurance policy is needed for flood damages, knowing your coverage can really help you avoid unnecessary headaches and flood loss.

What is Full Coverage in Flood Insurance?

So, you might be wondering what are your coverage options when it comes to flood insurance. In order to answer that, we'll have to break it down to your two options: federal flood insurance and private flood insurance.

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

Your first option and you might already know about this is the federally-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is also sometimes known as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood policy.

When it comes to NFIP, and even with their recent overhaul of the program with Risk Rating 2.0, you will be seeing some coverage limits there. Let's say that you need to get flood insurance for your home, so this falls under a residential flood policy.

What is Full Coverage in Flood Insurance?

Residential flood policies actually have coverage limits with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This limit indicates that you can only get a maximum of $250,000 for the building or structure of your home and only a maximum of $100,000 for personal property and contents of that insured home.

On the commercial side of things, the NFIP will offer only a maximum of $500,000 for building coverage and another $500,000 for business content within that insured building. This may make you ask, will this be enough?

What is Full Coverage in Flood Insurance?

Well, that really depends, but the way we see it now with increasing costs of materials, these limits might not be the comprehensive coverage you really need. Keep in mind as well that your flood insurance also needs to follow the 80% Rule.

This 80% Rule states that you should have a building coverage that is 80% of the total costs to replace or rebuild the property if you can't max out the coverage limit set.

Private Flood

On the other side of the coin, you have private flood. Being handled by private companies, insurers don't really have certain limitations on the coverage they can provide. Before we move forward, let's mention one of the biggest things you should know about private flood: flexibility of coverage.

Unlike the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), private flood insurance companies can provide additional living expenses and business loss of use with their flood policy. Although this may cause some form of an increase in premium rates, you might also be looking at an increase in protection against flood damages.

Private flood insurance can provide more than $250,000 and $100,000 in building and content coverage respectively for residential flood policies. The same can be said for commercial flood insurance policies with private flood, you can go more than $500,000 on your coverage.

This really helps a lot of property owners bounce back from flood events and if you have a somewhat expensive home or business, this coverage flexibility might be the best option for you.

5 Tips When Purchasing Flood Insurance

Additional Living Expenses

As mentioned before, you may also get additional living expenses coverage. You might be wondering what this could be for and that's no worry since this may be new to you too considering that the NFIP doesn't really offer it for policyholders.

Picture this, you just got flooded and a lot of repairs are bound to be made to your home. Basically, during this time, the house would be unlivable in order to give way to rebuilding or repairs.

Get A Quote

Additional Living Expenses coverage is what you can use to pay for the costs of rent or utilities. This can really be helpful relieve yourself of the stress of what just happened and the worry of finding a way to financially support yourself during this time.

What is Full Coverage in Flood Insurance?

This additional coverage can go up to $25,000 with private flood and this will only kick in with private flood insurance or when a presidential disaster declaration is announced for your community. 

Your Vote on Flood Insurance

Although there might not be full coverage with flood insurance, you still get all the necessary security you need. It's now left in your hands which one you would choose: the NFIP or private flood insurance.

If you want to know more about your flood risk, click below to see your flood risk and price.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Risk Verification Tool

Learn more about flood insurance with us by visiting our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your questions when it comes to flooding and flood policies.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

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

  • Fill out this form — Flood Insurance Guru | Get a Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

Midterm elections are happening right now and considering that this will change the future state of our individual communities, we also want to look at what this could mean for your flood insurance.

So where should you cast your ballot between the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private flood insurance? How will your vote impact flood insurance long-term for you and your property?

 

Midterm Elections

The midterm elections are getting really interesting as things heat up for the Governor and Senate positions. This is especially true even here in Georgia. The same can be said for flood insurance, not just for the state of Georgia, but for the entire country. 

First, let's talk about your coverage benefits from both the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private flood.

What Gets Your Vote: NFIP or Private Flood?

National Flood Insurance Program

Coverage

When it comes to flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has moved into a new system of coverage with the NFIP Risk Rating 2.0.

For residential properties and homes, you'll be able to get a maximum of $250,000 on building coverage and $100,000 on residential content. There will be no additional living expenses coverage. So it's pretty simple.

For commercial properties, however, the coverage will be maxed out at $500,000 for buildings and $500,000 for commercial contents. This still won't have any additional living expenses coverage.

What Gets Your Vote: NFIP or Private Flood?

What's important to remember here is that FEMA and the NFIP generally won't non-renew your policy. So you won't really be seeing a midterm cancellation with federal flood insurance. There are exceptions however, a flood insurance policy will be canceled if you're listed within the builder's risk or within 12 months to get your property built or after that, you'll have to take out a new policy.

Risk Rating 2.0

It's important to also remind ourselves that Risk Rating 2.0 presented a new system on how your premium rates are getting calculated. This new rating structure is the main focus on concern for the cost of flood insurance.

What Gets Your Vote: NFIP or Private Flood?

For one, the rating system no longer uses flood zones and flood maps as a basis for flood insurance premium rates. This is because Risk Rating 2.0 is more concerned with flood risk variables. These items are everything that may influence the risk of flooding on your property. This new system can really confuse a lot of property owners on how your risk is calculated. These factors include types of flooding, flood frequency, lowest-rated floor, replacement cost, distance to water, and flood claims history to name a few.

What Gets Your Vote: NFIP or Private Flood?

Now, this is somewhat presenting somewhat of a trust issue for property owners as you don't really get to have a view of how many percentages of your premium rates are from each variable/factor.

Private Flood Insurance

Coverage

Now, when it comes to private flood insurance, you might be able to see more flexibility when it comes to coverage. So that coverage limit of $250,000 and $100,000 for residential and $500,000 for commercial won't really be taking effect for private flood policies.

This generally provides more room to bounce back in the event of flood damage without worrying about premiums. Depending on your flood insurance carrier, you may also get some additional living expenses coverage, business loss of use, and other additional coverage with your flood policy. So outside of coverage for property damage and personal property, you also get more from the private flood.

What Gets Your Vote: NFIP or Private Flood?

However, what you should know is that since these policies are from private insurance companies, they aren't held back by the government hence they can easily non-renew your policy. They can also pull out any existing flood insurance policy in a specific community.

So these are some things that you want to consider before casting that ballot your vote for your flood insurance option. However, the most important thing here is to vote for the flood insurance option that works best for you and your needs.

If you want to know more about flood insurance, visit our Flood Learning Center:

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

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

  • Fill out this form —

Flood Insurance Guru | 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.

Business is booming as some would say to the real estate market in Alabama. Despite being in a pandemic, somehow real estate was able to keep up with the times. 2021 was one of these proofs as Alabama had an increase of 3.9% year-over-year (Y/Y) in real estate sales during the month of August.

Alabama Real Estate: Buying Properties in a Flood Zone

It's no secret that some of these listings sit on a high-risk flood zone, so today, we want to talk about things every realtor needs to know when it comes to buying and selling a property that's in a flood zone.

This is part one of a two-parter blog and for this article, we want to focus on the buyer's side of real estate.

Loan Types & Flood Insurance Options

When it comes to closing a house, most buyers don't really have the luxury to pay it all in cash. This is why loans exist to help ease up the expenses in maintaining a roof above your head. If you're reading this blog, you're most likely to be familiar with mortgages and how it works.

What you might not know is that mortgages and loan types can actually impact your flood insurance too.

You see, depending on the type of loan you have for your property, you'll get different options when it comes to flood insurance. We have different types of loans and we actually covered this topic on our podcast blog, but to further understand the situation especially after the Risk Rating 2.0 update with federal flood insurance let's give an example.

Alabama Real Estate: Buying Properties in a Flood Zone

If you have the Federal Housing Administration or FHA loan, you won't be able to get flood insurance through any private insurance carrier because your bank won't accept it. This only means that your only flood insurance source will be from the federal side which is through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

There was a time that if you have a loan that's under the government such as an FHA loan, Veteran Affairs (VA) loan, or United States Urban Development Administration (USDA) loan, the only option you have is through the NFIP when it comes to flood insurance.

This meant those people with conventional loans are the only ones who can get flood insurance through private companies before. This was changed way back and only homeowners with an FHA loan are required to get flood insurance through FEMA and the NFIP.

So this is important to keep in mind. Consider first what loan type you have in order to get a proper expectation on where you can get flood insurance from.

Flood Insurance Claims

Another thing you want to consider when buying a property is its history of flooding and flood claims history. This way you get to have an immediate idea of the flood risks or flood hazards that the house might face.

It's also important to note that when it comes to flood insurance, you might not get a policy from the private insurance companies once they detect that the previous owner or the property is prone to flooding.

It's important to keep in mind that flood claims aren't like medical insurance claims where it goes wherever you go. What we mean by this is that when you file a flood claim on the property, regardless of who the owner is, the claims will stay with the property basically for its entire life.

Alabama Real Estate: Buying Properties in a Flood Zone

When it comes to the federal side, however, there won't be a refusal to provide flood insurance to properties like this however with the Risk Rating 2.0, having multiple claims on a property is sure to impact the overall costs of your flood insurance premiums with that house. This is what's called the claim variable.

For this one, it's crucial to always know the flood and claims history of the property. This way you protect yourself from unwanted non-renewals as per the carrier's discretion or expensive flood insurance rates.

Flood Insurance Premiums

One of the biggest questions asked by a potential buyer of a house concerns flood insurance rates. This opens the door for asking, "will my premiums skyrocket after I buy the property?"

Alabama Real Estate: Buying Properties in a Flood Zone

The thing about flood insurance premiums is that the rate is generally guaranteed only for 12 months. This means that after that, you may see some changes like a minor increase or decrease. This is considering that you weren't flooded. On the other hand, if the property was recently subjected to flood damage and there was a claim filed for it, the flood insurance premium can increase substantially.

Verifying the Flood Zone

One of the most important things a buyer or realtor should know about a property when it comes to flood insurance is its flood zone. Despite being removed from the rating consideration in FEMA and the NFIP, the private flood insurance market still look at this factor when it comes to rates. This means that flood zones directly impact your rates and risk of flooding.

Additionally, regardless of it being removed from the rating system, flood zones still have absolute control on whether or not the property is required to have a flood insurance policy with that property. Keep in mind that if you fall in flood zone A or AE, also known as high-risk flood zones or special flood hazard areas (SFHA), you're going to be required to carry flood insurance.

There are many cases where an incorrect flood zone is put in a policy — maybe because there was a recent flood insurance rate map or flood map update that wasn't known by the seller or confusion between different flood zones.

As a realtor, it's important that you are aware of this as well, if not an expert when it comes to it. A lot of potential buyers get frustrated when they get surprised about this requirement, so as a realtor it's best you let them know ahead of time.

When it comes to selling properties, you really want to help your buyer consider what the flood risk is and the chance of flooding. Some states like Texas actually require realtors and sellers to fully disclose the flood history and claims on a property, but regardless it wouldn't really hurt being transparent about these things. After all, we're talking about the safety of someone moving into a residential property.

If you've got any questions on a flood policy, the flood zone status of the property you're looking to buy, how the floodplain impacts flood zones, or anything related to floods, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer these questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also call us if you need a second opinion from a flood insurance agent when it comes to your purchase of a property by clicking below.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, real estate selling and buying, and mitigating your property's value long-term.

Alabama is no stranger when it comes to flood. When it comes to the continuous development in the city due to its relative increase with the population as well as non-stop oversaturation of the ground due to consistent heavy rainfall, the city just couldn't get a break from floodwater.

4 Lessons Learned from Birmingham October 2021 Floods

Today, we want to talk about the four lessons we've learned from the Birmingham Alabama floods of October 2021 and how this can help flood recovery moving forward.

Flood Emergency

Rain is always the culprit when it comes to natural disasters like flooding. This is why understanding flood emergency is very crucial when it comes to preventing all unnecessary bad experiences when it comes to flooding.

A flood emergency is any disaster wherein water goes into areas that are usually dry and this doesn't just cover regular floods, but also flash flooding which is something that Alabama was warned about during the October flood. Ready defines floods as a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

4 Lessons Learned from Birmingham October 2021 Floods

However, sometimes these emergency warnings go on deaf ears as people still drive into pools of water and flooded roads. Unfortunately, this causes a lot of casualties. Reuters reported in one article that at least four people died during the October flooding disaster in Alabama; three of these deaths were found inside two washed-up cars.

Being ahead of these emergency warnings is enough to have awareness of the possible flood risk that the current weather or rainfall can cause the impacted area. On October 7th, 2021, al.com reported that there's an estimated 13-inch rainfall during that week.

We hope that everyone understands by now, not just in Alabama, but across the country how important and essential these warnings are. If you're not driving or maybe planning to stay at home, but it's expected to flood there, being aware of a flood emergency can help you evacuate.

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

We were able to brush through this in the previous item, but it's important to always remember that flooding can happen anywhere.

We've seen a lot of homeowners get blindsided with the words "Not In a Flood Zone" which is one of the biggest misconceptions we see in flood insurance. The thing is no property is not in a flood zone especially in the United States. Even deserts get flooded after a long time of drought, so what more areas like Alabama experience a lot of rain during the year?

If you want to learn more on this "not in a flood zone" concept, we actually did a blog on it clearing the air. Click here to read this blog and know more about flood zones.

4 Lessons Learned from Birmingham October 2021 Floods

It's a new year and we hope that you too get to accept that you can get flooded at any given moment; be it through collected water from rainfall, runoff from higher areas, or simply being located near a water source.

The thing about flood zones as well is that it doesn't really indicate a wall or border because flood doesn't really start at one zone and stop at a lower-risk flood zone. 

Our team understands that flood loss is something one can ignore. In one blink of an eye, everything can be lost due to the inundation of water. This is why we want to discuss the most important lesson we want everyone to understand.

Flood Insurance

When it comes to time during a flood emergency, most homeowners and business owners don't want to leave their property's premises because they want to make sure they have fewer losses as much as possible. This can easily be avoided with flood insurance.

If you've been following us, you know by now that we really put great importance when it comes to flood insurance. Forget about sales and all that. It's always safety first and most of the time, this safety comes in form of the insurance that you won't even feel the flood losses despite its scale.

You see, flood insurance can really help you avoid doing all the stuff you want to do to lessen the damages and losses you'll incur during a flood emergency. A standard flood insurance policy has enough coverage for both building and contents that homeowners and business owners don't really need to worry about "saving as much as one can".

4 Lessons Learned from Birmingham October 2021 Floods

Federal Flood Insurance

On the federal side with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), coverages on building maxes at $250,000 for residential buildings and can go up to $500,00 in commercial buildings. Both property types also get a max of $100,000 when it comes to contents coverage or every personal item inside the insured building.

This is outside of other coverages like the disaster assistance from a presidential approved declaration, the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) which is about $30,000 in coverages for flood mitigation, and when it the Community Rating System (CRS) Score which can create discounts of up to 45% on flood premiums with FEMA and the NFIP.

Private Flood Insurance

On the other hand, if this doesn't really cover your needs for flood insurance, Alabama also has a lot of private flood insurance carriers that we are also connected to. These private insurance companies can go beyond the building and contents coverage limits with FEMA and the NFIP. That means that a single flood insurance policy can cover you for more than $250,000 in building damages and more than $100,000 in contents.

These coverages from a flood policy can easily save you the trouble of worrying about what gets damaged and focus on keeping yourself safe from the debris and hurt from all that floodwater. But how are flood insurance and its claims different from home insurance claims?

You can read our blog comparing these two sides of flood insurance from our NFIP 2.0 vs Private Flood article.

Flood Claims vs Home Insurance Claims

When it comes to insurance claims, as a homeowner or business owner, you should be aware of when your standard homeowner's insurance applies and when flood insurance kicks in.

When it comes to flood insurance claims, you can't really get the coverage written on your policy if the surveyor detected that the damages to your home are due to water damage or a water backup. This means that flood claims won't pay out if your house was damaged from the inside and not due to getting inundated by surface water.

You can remember this through the "Number 2 Rule" wherein FEMA and most private companies will only consider water as a flood if at least 2 acres of usually dry land was covered by water or when at least 2 property gets inundated with water. Obviously, one of the properties or acres of land must be yours in order for your flood claim to payout.

4 Lessons Learned from Birmingham October 2021 Floods

You won't get your flood claim and insurance coverages in flood insurance if this rule doesn't apply to your situation. Another thing to keep in mind about flood insurance claims is that it usually covers and expects that the property owner also set up necessary flood mitigation efforts to prevent the same damage in the future. This is why the ICC exists for federal flood insurance as a means to avoid the same losses from future disasters like floods.

Equally, you can't use flood claims to cover damages due to fire, earthquakes, or any other natural disasters. It simply is strictly for flood disasters only; regardless of whether it is a minor flooding, flash flooding, or major flooding events in Alabama.

It's a bit difficult to write about this especially since there were a lot of people who got their homes damaged, lost their loved ones, and even just found themselves at a loss after all the water subsided.

The thing about lessons is we need to learn from them in order for them to be valuable and we hope that this refresher will also help you understand how we can avoid getting blindsided by an event like this again. So, if you have any questions on flood insurance, how to best protect your property from floods, or anything related, click the links below.

You can click here to access our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer most of your flood insurance questions:

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Or click here to contact us and we can talk about your flood concerns for the Alabama flood of October 2021.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

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

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Flood insurance coverage is something that all insurance agents and homeowners should know very well. Keep it close to the chest when it comes to fully understanding the extent of what you're writing on your policy.

Replacement Cost Versus Actual Cash Value

In today's episode, we want to tackle flood insurance coverages; specifically how replacement costs can be different from the actual cash value (ACV) and the dangers of choosing one thing from another.

What's the Difference?

When it comes to writing your flood insurance policy, you should be able to know which is the best option between replacement costs and ACV. Most insurance carriers provide homeowners with the ability to either opt into replacement costs or ACV.

But what is the difference between the two?

Replacement cost — from the phrase itself which is very self-explanatory — is the amount given to the insured in order to fully restore and/or rebuild the property after being damaged.

Let's give an example, if you choose to get replacement cost for your flood insurance for a home that's worth $240,000, then you will be able to get this exact amount from your insurance provider. In the NFIP, coverages actually max out at $250,000 building coverage and there are no amount limits in the private flood insurance market.

On the other hand, actual cash value (ACV) is a different story. This time around we won't be talking about the exact amount needed to fully restore your insured building, but its exact value in actual money.

This is calculated by using the replacement cost value of the property subtracted by depreciation. This means that the overall depreciation of the value of your insured building will be the sole basis of how much you'll be getting.

Replacement Cost Versus Actual Cash Value

This means that one way or the other, you won't be getting $240,000 on your insurance if you choose ACV. This is why choosing Actual Cash Value is dangerous for homeowners because you're getting less than what you really need.

How to Know Your Coverage

There are two ways to make sure that you won't get blindsided when your flood insurance claim pays out.

The first way to make sure that you don't get ACV in your insurance is by checking the policy. You want to make sure that you get to read your flood insurance policy very well before you proceed on purchasing it, and also make sure that you have replacement costs as your coverage option.

You can ask your insurance agent to help you with this and it's pretty easy for them to determine this. A great insurance agent will make sure that the policy you have is under replacement cost coverage.

Another thing you want to make sure of is that you're following the 80% rule. Both FEMA and private flood insurance have this type of rule. The rule states that you must ensure your property for at least 80% of its cost.

By following the 80% rule, you can have the assurance that you won't be getting a significantly lower amount of coverage when your policy starts to payout.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance coverages, how to manage your flood policy, or anything related to flood insurance, you can click below to access our Flood Learning Center where we answer your flood and insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also click on this picture below to contact us and discuss your flood insurance concerns.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood insurance, how it can be managed, flood risks, and mitigating your property to preserve its value long-term.

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