The Midland flooding that occurred in late May of 2020 was a tragic event. It didn't just impact Midland but other areas through out Michigan.

There is a long list of impacts from this flooding like businesses not being able to stay open due to damage, residents having trouble finding temporary housing because of Covid 19, and major facilities like hospitals not being able to operate on a normal basis.

We want to take a look at two longer term impacts that this flooding will create

  1. Flood insurance options
  2. Flood zone changes

As a result of this flooding claims are starting to roll in on the National Flood Insurance Program side and the private flood insurance side.

While you won't see any immediate impact on the National Flood Insurance Program side, you could see see some immediate impacts on the private flood insurance side.

To get an idea of these impacts let's look back at the Midwest flooding in 2019. Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Minnesota had widespread flooding throughout the year.

When this flooding occurred many private flood insurance companies stopped offering new flood policies temporary.

Why did this happen and can we expect the same thing in Michigan?

There are really two main reasons why private flood insurance carriers do this

  1. Get control of the claims
  2. Understand future risk models

When this type of flooding occurs carriers want to see how many claims will come in and how catastrophic these claims will be.

Stopping new business in these areas during this time also helps them understand their risk models. Unlike the National Flood Insurance Program most private flood insurance companies do not base their rates solely on the flood zone type. Instead they use some pretty advanced technology to understand elevations, river flows, rainfall flows, and other things in an area.

Many times when these claims come in they can see where the adjustments need to be made. It could also be the reinsurer that supports the insurance carrier no longer wants to do business in an area.

This is exactly what happened in 2019 when many private flood insurance companies did not offer new business in these areas for almost 6 months.

So what exactly can we expect to happen in Midland Michigan and other parts of Michigan.

Well we can expect to see private flood insurance options become limited pretty quickly as a result. You may even see some carriers decide to pull out as they look at the safety history of dams in the Midland Michigan area.

While your current flood insurance policy won't be impacted immediately you could see some pretty high increases or even a non renewal when its time to renew. It's important to understand unlike the National Flood Insurance Program there are lots of private flood insurance options. Just because one has high rate increases or non renewals does not mean that the others will.

Its also important to know that the National Flood Insurance Program is also available for you with a standard 30 day wait.

So what about flood zone changes?

Here at the Flood Insurance Guru we do flood zone changes also known as letter of map amendments for property owners everyday. Once of the things FEMA looks at when approving these is if a property has flooded in the past or even possibly an area.

So if your house was flooded more than likely they would not approve your request to be removed from the special flood hazard area. Even if your property wasn't impacted you could still be declined.

So these are just a couple of the more long term impacts the flooding in Midland Michigan can cause.

If you have questions make sure to visit our website or our YouTube channel where we have our daily flood education videos.

 

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com