As we dive deeper into the hurricane season, we also have to prepare for the upcoming changes to flood insurance across the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is rolling out changes when it comes to flood insurance rates across all states in the country.

Let's saddle up as we lasso the changes coming to federal flood insurance in the Cowboy State of Wyoming.

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

Wyoming has a colorful history of floods. Just like the other states, when we travel back to the 1900s, we're going to see a lot of flood events that impacted the state. For this one, we want to focus on the two more recent floodings which happened in Wyoming.

In June 2010, rain and rapid snowmelt caused massive summer flooding in Fremont County. This disastrous event alone caused about $7 million in damages. This is why we really highlight the threats of these spring runoff. In the same month five years after, the state also witnessed devastating flash floods due to torrential rain and thunderstorms in Niobrara County. 

This is why it's important to understand your flood insurance since this is the only protection you can get against such force of nature. Getting flood insurance policies for your properties both residential property, commercial property, and contents or personal property is one great start in making sure that you're prepared and protected from flood damage. However, this can only get you far especially if you're not up-to-date when it comes to the changes coming to flood insurance.

We've seen this happen in federal flood insurance where some policyholders would be caught off guard with the price hike on their rates since they didn't follow the latest flood map updates. There are also private companies suddenly doing moratoriums and nonrenewing leaving homeowners without flood insurance.

Today, we want to focus on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as the landscapes of federal flood insurance will change with the Risk Rating 2.0. We will understand what the Risk Rating 2.0 changes can mean to flood insurance and answer:

The Risk Rating 2.0 is expected to drop on October 1, 2021.

The NFIP 2.0

The Flood Insurance Guru | Wyoming Flood Insurance: New Federal 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. 

It's important to note that the federal government, FEMA, and the National Flood Insurance Program won't solely rely on the property values when calculating the flood insurance premium they'll give for each homeowner or policyholder.

This doesn't mean that all expensive property or higher-valued homes will be the only ones to experience rate hikes and lower-valued homes up to middle-income policyholders will be the only ones to get a decrease in their flood insurance rates. The pricing methodology will also rely on the flood data such as:

  • Overall risk of flooding and flood frequency in your community
  • History of flood damage and flood loss on the property
  • History and number of legitimate claims for flood insurance made in the last ten years
  • Mitigation projects made on the property. Are there flood openings? Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation?
  • Flood map data. Are you sitting in a designated high-risk flood zone?
  • Possible flood hazard and other flood risk variables. How far is the nearest water source or body of water? Is the area prone to coastal erosions?

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 | Wyoming Flood Insurance: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Good

Let's start this one with good news or what you'll see in our graph as a green portion. This will affect 33% or 561 policies in Wyoming and generally reflects the good change because there will be a decrease in flood insurance rates for those who are included in this portion.

The decrease in FEMA policy rates will be more than $100 ($1200 per year). This type of change can really help those who aren't getting in the private flood market or want to continue their policies with FEMA.

The Bad

If there's good news, there is also bad news. This is represented by that blue portion in the graph which is composed of 60% or 1,017 policies from FEMA in the state.

This is what we call a bad change for these policyholders since there will be a small increase in flood insurance rates starting this October. Once the Risk Rating 2.0 takes effect, there will be an increase ranging from $0 to $10 per month ($0 - $120 per year).

This means that you might not experience any change will flood insurance when you fall to that $0 or you can get up to a $10 increase.

The Ugly

Lastly, we want to talk about the ugly changes coming with the Risk Rating 2.0. This will be shown by the pink and grey portions respectively. Both of these will still deal with getting you an increase in the rates you have with FEMA.

Starting with the pink portion, 4% or 76 policies in Wisconsin will get an increase ranging from $10 to $20 per month ($120 - $240 per year).

Whereas the grey portion will cover only 3% or 51 policies in the state. Despite having a small percentage, it's important to note that this will have the most drastic increase of more than $20 per month (>$240 per year). 

You can see the full pie graph of these changes coming to Wyoming below:

The Flood Insurance Guru | Wyoming Flood Insurance: New Federal 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. 

If you have questions on these upcoming changes, what are your flood insurance options in Wisconsin, 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    Get Your Quote from Flood Insurance Guru     The Flood Insurance Guru | Chris Greene | YouTube

 

 

Almost everyone has heard that all flood insurance is the same and it all goes through FEMA. While technically this is not true because there is the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance markets.

Today we want to talk about some different ways that you can obtain flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

There basically two ways to obtain flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program

  1. Write Your Own companies
  2. NFIP Direct

There is no wrong way to obtain flood insurance, the only bad decision is not getting it at all. So we want to discuss the benefits of each one of these paths.

Electrical outlet reflected in floodwater in office

Let's discuss what a Write Your Own carrier is? The guidelines they must follow and a list of companies that participate?

First of a Write Your Own carrier also known as (WYO) is participating property and casualty insurance companies to write and service the standard flood policies in their own names.

It's important to remember while these carriers are writing these policies FEMA still retains the responsibility for underwriting losses. Since this is still part of the National Flood Insurance Program there are strict guidelines that must be followed.

Some of those guidelines are as follows

  1. Policy administration
  2. Claims processing
  3. Reports
  4. Operations plan
  5. Time standards
  6. Policy issuance
  7. Discontinue of policies when NFIP is not authorized
  8. Keep flood insurance funds separate from company funds
  9. The Company must investigate, adjust, settle, and defend all claims or losses arising from policies issued under this Arrangement. Payment of flood insurance claims by the Company bind FEMA, subject to appeal.
  10. Compliance with Agency Standards and Guidelines.
  11. Compliance with Appeals Process
  12. Other Flood Insurance. If the Company also offers flood insurance outside of the NFIP in any geographic area in which Program authorizes the purchase of flood insurance, the Company must:
    1. Ensure that all public communications (whether written, recorded, electronic, or other) regarding non-NFIP flood insurance lines would not lead a reasonable person to believe that the NFIP, FEMA, or the Federal Government in any way endorses, sponsors, oversees, regulates, or otherwise has any connection with the non-NFIP flood insurance line. The Company may assure compliance with this requirement by prominently including in such communications the following statement: “This insurance product is not affiliated with the National Flood Insurance Program.”
    2. Ensure that data related to this Arrangement are not used to further or support the Company's non-NFIP flood insurance lines
      Governance on Blue Puzzle on White Background.

While this is not all the guidelines you can see that NFIP has strict guidelines for participating in this program. According to FEMA this program was set up in 1983 with three goals in mind

  1. Increase the NFIP policy base and the geographic distribution of policies
  2. Improve service to NFIP policyholders through the infusion of insurance industry knowledge
  3. Provide the insurance industry with direct operating experience with flood insurance

The WYO program has come along way since 1983 its important that you know what companies participate so you are protected.

There are more than 55 different companies that participate in this program and you can find the list here.

Two women and team work in big storehouse

As you can see there can be some great benefits to this program like dealing directly with your existing insurance company for your flood insurance policy, dealing with an experienced company during the claims process, and also having a good experience when making payments or changes.

So now that we have looked at WYO let's discuss what NFIP direct is and some of its benefits?

NFIP Direct is the system that FEMA has built where agents can directly access the NFIP without going through a WYO carrier. Payments, claims processing, and policy issuance are just a few things the system does.

One of the negatives of using NFIP Direct is if someone who doesn't have flood training or experience can struggle with using it. This is one of the major benefits of using a WYO. This is also one reason why many agents who can only access NFIP Direct sell less flood insurance than those who access a WYO.

You can call it intimidation or just a headache like many agents do.

So is there any benefit for the consumer?

Business man pointing the text Customer Experience

Whether the customer decides to use a WYO or NFIP Direct then the rates and claims processing should be the same. You may just have a better experience with a WYO because of the way they communicate.

So is there a benefit to the agent?

There are usually a few benefits first of all commissions are normally higher through a WYO compared to going through NFIP Direct. There are also normally a lot more opportunities to learn the system and get the support that you need as an agent.

So whether you access WYO or NFIP Direct whats important is that you have a policy in place. According to the FEMA podcast the last 10 years have shown a steady decrease in the amount of active flood insurance policies and a steady increase in the amount of claims filed.

So if you have questions about either one of these platforms then make sure to visit our website. You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or Facebook page. You can also tune into our daily podcast.

 

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