A month from the official launch of the new Risk Rating 2.0 program with FEMA and the NFIP, we equally want to focus on the upcoming changes to flood maps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be changing the flood zones for multiple states starting this month and for this one, we want to cover the upcoming update to Sibley in Iowa's Osceola County.

Iowa Flood Insurance: Sibley Flood Map Updates

Flood Zones in Risk Rating 2.0

Out with the old, in with the new federal flood insurance program with Risk Rating 2.0 and this means that we're past the legacy program which looks at flood zones as a determining factor for your flood insurance rate or flood insurance premium. However, it's still crucial to understand why the Risk Rating 2.0 from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will impact the flood insurance studies and the industry itself.

You can learn more about Risk Rating 2.0 by visiting our blog covering it.

READ: NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Update

It's important to keep in mind that Risk Rating 2.0 will only look at flood zones for regulatory purposes. This means flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) and the flood zone changes happening with it will only be used to determine whether or not a property is required to carry flood insurance or not.

Basically, the rating flood maps of old are out and the regulatory flood maps of Risk Rating 2.0 is the new standard.

Today, we discuss today the good, the bad, and the ugly changes with the flood map updates to Osceola County that will start to take effect this November 5th, 2021. We want to focus on how many properties will be impacted by this new floodplain mapping, how many properties are moving into high-risk flood zones, how many are being removed from it, and how many are going deeper into the special flood hazard areas (SFHA).

The Good

Starting with the good changes with this flood map update. We say that this is a good change because a property impacted by this will be removed from the high-risk areas or SFHA. FEMA would call this the "in to out" movement.

When it comes to Osceola County in Iowa, about 106 properties will be moved into low-risk zones. This means that if you're one of these houses moving in to out, the insured building written on your flood insurance policy will be in the moderate-to-low-risk flood areas which are Flood Zones B, Flood Zone C, and the famous Flood Zone X.

Since Risk Rating 2.0 only looks at these regulatory flood maps in order to understand the overall flood risk of a property, being in these low-risk flood areas will give you an option to not carry flood insurance to your property.

Despite this, we want to mention that low-risk doesn't mean zero risk. The risk for flooding in these areas is still very much possible although generally, the chance of flooding in these zones is very low. It's still best to carry flood insurance at all times in order to protect your property from any and all flood damage. According to FEMA, 25% of flood insurance claims come from these flood zones. Flood insurance also helps individuals start preparing by lowering their flood risk.

The Bad

Now, let's move to the bad changes coming with this new flood map update. FEMA calls this an "out to in" movement since the flood insurance rate map will take properties that are in the low-risk zones and place them into high-risk zones.

There are 2242 property owners that will experience this movement in the upcoming floodplain map. This means that if you're impacted by this bad change, the regulatory standpoint of Risk Rating 2.0 when it comes to flood zones will kick in due. Property owners that are included in the out-to-in movement will now be required to carry flood insurance regardless if they insured residential properties or commercial ones.

High-risk areas like flood zone A or 100-year floodplain generally mean that the properties in this area will have a 26% chance of flood water inundating during a 30-year mortgage. 

The Ugly

Lastly, we have the ugly changes coming to Osceola County and its cities like Sibley. The ugly change is something that FEMA calls an "in to in" movement. This is because this will impact properties that are already in the SFHA and will be mapped into a higher-risk flood zone. We could also say that this is like moving your insured property from a flood zone A to a flood zone AE.

About 106 property owners are expected to experience this in-to-in movement on the flood maps. Just like the bad change or out to in, this also means that you will be required to carry a flood insurance policy for your property.

Now that we have covered the good, bad, ugly changes, and how this can impact your flood insurance purchase, let's talk about your flood insurance options in Sibley, Iowa.

Iowa Flood Insurance: Sibley Flood Map Updates

The NFIP

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is purely managed by the federal government since this is FEMA's answer to flood insurance. An NFIP flood policy can get you flood coverage on both your dwelling and the contents within it.

When we say dwelling, this simply pertains to either the residential property or commercial building that you're trying to insure with NFIP and FEMA; contents will be more about the personal property and items you have inside the insured building.

There is a coverage limit when it comes to federal flood policies. Flood damage to buildings will be covered to a maximum of $250,000 for residential policies and can only go up to $500,000 maximum if it's for a commercial property. Regardless of the type of property you have written, you can expect to get a $100,000 maximum contents coverage from an NFIP policy.

There's also what's called the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. This is a $30,000 additional coverage for your property in order to make sure that there are flood mitigation efforts made on the property according to the federal government's standards.

Generally, this can include sandbagging your property, installing floodproofing walls, raising your lowest floor from the base flood elevation levels, and putting flood openings. The labor that goes into making these mitigation efforts happen will also be covered under the ICC.

Florida Flood Insurance: St. Petersburg Flood Maps of August 2021

There are also perks with your participating community in Sibley. A participating community gets access to federal flood insurance and disaster assistance, but more importantly, you also get to work with your community on raising your Community Rating System (CRS) score. The CRS measures and rewards the overall flood mitigation efforts done by the community according to FEMA's standards on floodplain management. Simply put, the higher your CRS score is, the bigger the flood insurance discount you'll get from FEMA and the NFIP.

You can start enjoying your NFIP policy after a 30-day waiting period from the flood insurance purchase.

Iowa Flood Insurance: Sibley Flood Map Updates

The Private Flood

If the federal flood insurance option doesn't really work for you then you can manage this new floodplain mapping through the private flood insurance market. It's important to note that this market will solely be managed and provided by private insurance companies which generally means that the red tapes FEMA and NFIP has to go through won't be there.

The first thing you'll immediately see with the private flood market is that there are significantly shorter waiting periods for your flood policy. Once you have everything settled and paid for, a private flood insurance policy can take effect on 7 or up to 14 days maximum. 

Iowa Flood Insurance: Sibley Flood Map Updates

Another good thing coming out of private flood insurance is that there are no coverage limits. This means that you won't really need to stress over how to get covered for a $500,000 home since it will be fully covered by your policy. This is the same with contents coverage and you'll also get additional coverages like replacement costs, additional living expenses, and loss of use.

Fair warning, it's a known issue in the private insurance market in general that they will do moratoriums when there are risks that are too high for their comforts. This simply means that they will either put a stop or take a break from providing flood insurance policies to a certain area that has higher risks. There's also a chance that you might not get to buy flood insurance from them once they decide to non-renew your policy.

At the end of the day, the choice of where you'll be getting flood insurance depends on you. What's really important is that you know your flood risks and have enough protection from all possible outcomes of a flood event such as flood loss and flood damage.

Click the link below to access our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your questions on flood insurance and beyond.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term. 

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A month from the official launch of the new Risk Rating 2.0 program with FEMA and the NFIP, we equally want to focus on the upcoming changes to flood maps.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be changing the flood zones for multiple states starting this month and for this one, we want to cover the upcoming update to Spencer City in Iowa's Clay County.

Spencer, Iowa: Clay County Flood Map Updates

Flood Zones in Risk Rating 2.0

Out with the old, in with the new federal flood insurance program with Risk Rating 2.0 and this means that we're past the legacy program which looks at flood zones as a determining factor for your flood insurance rate or flood insurance premium. However, it's still crucial to understand why the Risk Rating 2.0 from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will impact the flood insurance studies and the industry itself.

READ: NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Update

It's important to keep in mind that Risk Rating 2.0 will only look at flood zones for regulatory purposes. This means flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) and the flood zone changes happening with it will only be used to determine whether or not a property is required to carry flood insurance or not. Basically, the rating flood maps of old are out and the regulatory flood maps of Risk Rating 2.0 is the new standard.

Flood Insurance Guru | Delaware Flood Insurance: Milford NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Update

Today, we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly changes with the flood map updates to Clay County that will start to take effect this November 5th, 2021. We want to focus on how many properties will be impacted by this new floodplain mapping, how many properties are moving into high-risk flood zones, how many are being removed from it, and how many are going deeper into the special flood hazard areas (SFHA).

Spencer, Iowa: Clay County Flood Map Updates

The Good

Starting with the good changes with this flood map update. We say that this is a good change because a property impacted by this will be removed from the high-risk areas or SFHA. FEMA would call this the "in to out" movement.

When it comes to Clay County in Iowa, about 661 properties will be moved into low-risk zones. This means that if you're one of these houses moving in to out, the insured building written on your flood insurance policy will be in the moderate-to-low-risk flood areas which are Flood Zones B, Flood Zone C, and the famous Flood Zone X.

Since Risk Rating 2.0 only looks at these regulatory flood maps in order to understand the overall flood risk of a property, being in these low-risk flood areas will give you an option to not carry flood insurance to your property.

Despite this, we want to mention that low-risk doesn't mean zero risk. The risk for flooding in these areas is still very much possible although generally, the chance of flooding in these zones is very low. It is still best to carry flood insurance at all times in order to protect your property from any and all flood damage. FEMA even mentioned that 25% of flood insurance claims come from these flood zones. Flood insurance also helps individuals start preparing by lowering their flood risk.

The Bad

Now, let's move to the bad changes coming with this new flood map update. FEMA calls this an "out to in" movement since the flood insurance rate map will take properties that are in the low-risk zones and place them into high-risk zones.

There are 767 property owners that will experience this movement in the upcoming floodplain map. This means that if you're impacted by this bad change, the regulatory standpoint of Risk Rating 2.0 when it comes to flood zones will kick in due. Property owners that are included in the out-to-in movement will now be required to carry flood insurance regardless if they insured residential properties or commercial ones.

High-risk areas like flood zone A or 100-year floodplain generally mean that the properties in this area will have a 26% chance of floodwater inundating during a 30-year mortgage. 

The Ugly

Lastly, we have the ugly changes coming to Clay County and its cities like Spencer City. The ugly change is something that FEMA calls an "in to in" movement. This is because this will impact properties that are already in the SFHA and will be mapped into a higher-risk flood zone. We could also say that this is like moving your insured property from a flood zone A to a flood zone AE.

Generally, this indicates that the impacted properties are very likely to get inundated by any flood event. Unlike low-risk flood zones, these flood zones experience more devastating flood due to their proximity to a water source.

About 3105 properties are expected to experience this in-to-in movement on the flood maps. Just like the bad change or out to in, this also means that you will be required to carry a flood insurance policy for your property. This number may be due to the base flood depths getting worse due to multiple factors.

Now that we have covered the good, bad, ugly changes, and how this can impact your flood insurance purchase, let's talk about your flood insurance options in Spencer City, Iowa.

Spencer, Iowa: Clay County Flood Map Updates

The NFIP

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is purely managed by the federal government since this is FEMA's answer to flood insurance. An NFIP flood policy can get you flood coverage on both your dwelling and the contents within it.

When we say dwelling, this simply pertains to either the residential property or commercial building that you're trying to insure with NFIP and FEMA; contents will be more about the personal property and items you have inside the insured building.

There is a coverage limit when it comes to federal flood policies. Flood damage to buildings will be covered to a maximum of $250,000 for residential policies and can only go up to $500,000 maximum if it's for a commercial property. Regardless of the type of property you have written, you can expect to get a $100,000 maximum contents coverage from an NFIP policy.

There's also what's called the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage. This is a $30,000 additional coverage for your property in order to make sure that there are flood mitigation efforts made on the property according to the federal government's standards.

Generally, this can include sandbagging your property, installing floodproofing walls, raising your lowest floor from the base flood elevation levels, and putting flood openings. The labor that goes into making these mitigation efforts happen will also be covered under the ICC.

Spencer, Iowa: Clay County Flood Map Updates

There are also perks with your participating community in Sibley. A participating community gets access to federal flood insurance and disaster assistance, but more importantly, you also get to work with your community on raising your Community Rating System (CRS) score. The CRS measures and rewards the overall flood mitigation efforts done by the community according to FEMA's standards on floodplain management. Simply put, the higher your CRS score is, the bigger the flood insurance discount you'll get from FEMA and the NFIP.

You can start enjoying your NFIP policy after a 30-day waiting period from the flood insurance purchase.

The Private Flood

If the federal flood insurance option doesn't really work for you then you can manage this new floodplain mapping through the private flood insurance market. It's important to note that this market will solely be managed and provided by private insurance companies which generally means that the red tapes FEMA and NFIP has to go through won't be there.

The first thing you'll immediately see with the private flood market is that there are significantly shorter waiting periods for your flood policy. Once you have everything settled and paid for, a private flood insurance policy can take effect on 7 or up to 14 days maximum. 

Spencer, Iowa: Clay County Flood Map Updates

Another good thing coming out of private flood insurance is that there are no coverage limits. This means that you won't really need to stress over how to get covered for a $500,000 home since it will be fully covered by your policy. This is the same with contents coverage and you'll also get additional coverages like replacement costs, additional living expenses, and loss of use.

Fair warning, it's a known issue in the private insurance market in general that they will do moratoriums when there are risks that are too high for their comforts. This simply means that they will either put a stop or take a break from providing flood insurance policies to a certain area that has higher risks. There's also a chance that you might not get to buy flood insurance from them once they decide to non-renew your policy.

At the end of the day, the choice of where you'll be getting flood insurance depends on you. What's really important is that you know your flood risks and have enough protection from all possible outcomes of a flood event such as flood loss and flood damage.

Click the link below to access our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your questions on flood insurance and beyond.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term. 

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When people think about flood insurance they normally think about coastal areas. Flood insurance in Des Moines Iowa is not something that generally comes to mind, which is what makes understanding the new flood maps even more important. Des Moines Iowa has had a history of flooding because of the Iowa river and smaller creeks like Beaver Creek.

In late 2018 and early 2019 FEMA updated the flood insurance rate maps for parts of Polk county and Warren county Iowa. This is going to have a major impact on areas like Ankeny Iowa, Johnston Iowa, Polk City Iowa, Indianola Iowa, New Virginia Iowa, Ackworth Iowa, and St. Marys Iowa. We are going to talk about the good news and bad news with these maps.

When flood insurance rate maps are updated it is not always a bad thing since FEMA looks at historical data when updating maps. So if your area does not have a history of flooding then it could be a good thing. This means when the new map is updated your property could be moved out of a high risk flood zone like almost 1500 property owners in Polk county Iowa are expected to experience. So if this happens to you and you have a mortgage then you should get a letter from your mortgage company that flood insurance will no longer be required. Here at The Flood Insurance Guru we always recommend checking these flood zones on a yearly basis. You can verify your flood zone here

Now let's talk about the bad news about these maps where many property owners are placed into high risk flood zones that may have not been there before. You also have property owners that maybe looking at higher premiums because they were moved from a moderate to a high risk flood zones. Roughly 4000 property owners between Polk and Warren county will be placed in high risk flood zones and an additional 1200 property owners could be looking at higher premiums because of the risk increasing.

So what exactly does this mean and how will it impact you? Let’s say you have a mortgage on your property then you should receive a letter from your mortgage company. The letter should read something like this. “We were recently notified that your property was placed into a SFHA also known as a special flood hazard area”. So what are your options when this happens?

The first option is to contact a flood insurance expert like the FLOOD INSURANCE GURU to look at getting a flood insurance policy with map revision rates. What this does is gives you the preferred rate for the first 12 months and there after the rate would gradually increase each year until it reaches the proper premium level for the risk. This first year rate is generally $525 a year or less. Let's discuss the second option which is a zone change.

A zone change also known as a letter of map amendment or LOMA is when evidence can be shown to FEMA that your flood zone is wrong.  Basically the lowest adjacent grade of your home has to show above the base flood elevation in order to get this approved. So where can you look at getting this done. We recommend reaching out to someone like The Flood Insurance Guru who can match you with the right resources to start this process. If this does get approved then a letter is received from FEMA that is sent to the mortgage company stating the property is in a low risk flood zone and that the mandatory requirement for flood insurance should be removed. If you are not lucky enough we recommend looking at the last option which is private flood insurance.

Private flood insurance can be a great option but before we discuss it let's talk about how exactly it is different from the National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP. The NFIP is the federally backed flood insurance program. This program is managed by FEMA, so the rates are controlled by the government as well as the coverages. When searching for flood insurance if you are getting rates through the NFIP they should all be the same but many times they are not because agent knowledge is different when it comes to flood insurance.

So what exactly does the NFIP cover? The NFIP covers residential buildings up to $250,000 and contents up to $100,000. It pays out generally in two situations either more than one property is inundated with surface water or more than two acres is inundated with water. Now that we have an understanding of what NFIP covers lets talk about exactly what private flood insurance is and what it covers.

Private flood insurance is flood insurance that is provided by private insurance carriers and many situations is backed by Lloyds of London. When it comes to rates this program works differently than NFIP. Private insurance carriers can make up their own rates and can choose to turn down certain risks. This allows private companies to properly manage risks. Because of this private flood insurance companies can many times provide rates that are 40-50% less than NFIP. As a result many people are putting their flood insurance policies with private carriers instead. Now that we understand how the pricing works lets talk about coverages a little bit.

As we mentioned above NFIP provides a max coverage of $250,000 on residential buildings and $100,000 on contents. However private flood insurance companies do not put this limitation on their coverages. Many companies will go into the millions for coverages, this can be a great benefit on higher value homes. Something else that private covers is additional living expenses.

Additional living expenses can provide for temporary housing after a flood, this is important because this is not covered by the NFIP flood insurance policy.

As you can see there can be many difference between an NFIP and a private insurance flood policy when it comes to flood insurance in areas like Des Moines Iowa, Ankeny Iowa, Johnston Iowa, Polk City Iowa, Indianola Iowa, New Virginia Iowa, Ackworth Iowa, and St. Marys Iowa.. It could also be possible to get your flood zone changed so its important to know every flood insurance option out there. 

Find Out More About Des Moines Iowa Flood Insurance Options