Category Archives: Flood Insurance

What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance Changes

Savannah Flood Insurance

Flood insurance has been a hot topic of conversation over the past few months. Devastating flooding in Texas and recent changes in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have brought it to the attention of many.

If you live in Savannah, you’re likely paying close attention because Savannah sits in a low-lying coastal plain and is vulnerable to flooding. Land in the Isle of Hope area (including Ferguson Avenue and Dutch Island) is located in low, moderate, and high flood risk zones.

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On April 1 of 2015, the NFIP made changes to its flood insurance policies. It restored “grandfathering,” implemented new ratings procedures for “newly mapped” properties, and put new caps on premium increases.

“Grandfathering” Restored

The NFIP has always subsidized or discounted policy rates for “pre- FIRM” properties, or structures constructed prior to the effective date of the community’s first FIRM (Flood Insurance Rating Map). A few years ago, new legislation, Biggert Waters, phased out premium discounts for these “grandfathered” properties.

On April 1, the Homeowner FloodInsurance Affordability Act  (HFIAA) restored grandfathering. Now these “grandfathered” properties can pay a discounted premium based on other properties from their previous, less risky flood zone. HFIAA also took away FEMA’s authority to increase flood insurance rates on sold properties. Now buyers can assume the seller’s current policy
premium rate.

Savannah Flood Map

Newly Mapped Properties

If your property has been “newly mapped” into a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you can qualify for a discounted premium the first year. The premium matches a Preferred Risk Policy for home owners in low- or moderate-risk flood zones. You must get coverage that is effective within 12 months of the revision date. (Property remapped between October 1, 2008 and March 31, 2015 must start coverage before April 1, 2016.) In year two, the “Newly Mapped” policy adjusts to a full-risk rate, but the average premium
increases cannot exceed 18%. Also, most flood premiums can only go up 18% a year (Business properties, non-primary residences, “severe repetitive loss” properties and “substantially damaged or improved” properties can rise by 25% per year)until full-risk rates are reached.

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If you’d like more information about your home’s specific flood zone call me at 912-844-9000. Or you can send me an email.

Do You Understand Recent Flood Insurance Changes?

SAMSUNG

Hurricane season in Savannah is just around the corner. So it’s a great time to talk about flood insurance, especially some recent changes, made April 1, that could have a big impact on you and your home.

On April 1 of 2015,  the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) made some important adjustments to the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”).

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There’s a lot to cover so I’ll break it up into two posts. Today, I’ll give you a quick overview of some recent developments related to flood insurance. In part two,  I’ll discuss the specific changes that took place on April 1.

Let’s dive in.

Why NFIP Flood Insurance is Important

Federal law requires you to carry NFIP flood insurance on certain properties located in a flood hazard zone to get federal aid or loans from federally insured lenders. So if you plan to apply for, raise, extend or renew a federally insured loan (including a second mortgage, home equity loan or refinancing) you will have to prove you have flood insurance.

Also, congress remapped the nationwide flood zone, which could significantly expand the number and size of FEMA-identified flood hazard areas.  This means many properties that didn’t need flood insurance in the past, may need it now. If you don’t have it you can lose out on federally insured financing.

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