Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0: New & Improved

The National Flood Insurance Program had some major changes that became effective October 1st. They are calling this initiative “Risk Rating 2.0”, in which FEMA considers a substantial leap forward when it comes to flood insurance. While some of the changes are minor details, there are a few pretty big adjustments to this coverage that you’ll want to know about in order to best serve your clients.
Since the 1970s, this type of insurance coverage has been rated based solely off of a zone determined by the property location and elevation. FEMA now has years of analyzed data combined with a conscious effort to make flood insurance more fairly rated.
With the evolution of the new Risk Rating 2.0 program, FEMA will now use the following factors to more accurately rate a property for flood insurance:
  • Flood frequency
  • Multiple flood types such as river overflow, storm surge, coastal erosion and heavy rainfall
  • Distance to a water source
  • Property characteristics such as construction type, cost to rebuild, and elevation
  • Prior insurance/claims
Some things that remain the same are:
  • Existing statutory limits on rate increases require that most rates can not increase more than 18% per year
  • FEMA will continue to offer premium discounts for pre-FIRM subsidized and newly mapped properties
  • Policyholders will still be able to transfer their discount to a new owner by assigning their flood insurance policy when their property changes ownership
  • Discounts to policyholders in communities who participate in the Community Rating System will continue
FEMA estimated that 20% of Florida homeowners will see an immediate premium decrease, 68% will see an increase up to $120, and 12% will see an increase over $120.
Overall, this is good news and a positive, fair change moving forward. Flood insurance can be complex but it doesn’t have to be. Any time we can be of assistance with flood insurance questions, please reach out. We’re happy to help navigate these waters…. literally.