The “Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012” was enacted January 1, 2013. Many of the changes from the Act become effective July 1, 2013 for Newly Purchased Policies and October 1, 2013 for Renewal Policies.
The new terminology & requirements you should know are:
Pre-Firm construction refers to many older home built PRIOR to 1974.
If these home are located in an AE or V Flood Zone:
- A newly purchased home will be required to have an Elevation Certificate in order to purchase a Flood policy; your mortgagee will likely require you to purchase one.
- On an existing home, if you already had a flood policy prior to the inception of the Act in January 2013, you will need to get an elevation certificate in order to renew your policy. If you do not provide an elevation certificate you will be surcharged an additional 25% (on top of the newly increased rates) for every year you do not obtain one, until the year 2017, when full actual rates will apply.
Post – Firm Construction refers to homes built AFTER 1974.
- If they are located in a V or A Zone, they had already been required to provide an Elevation Certificate, even prior to the Biggert-Waters Act.
Rates on Flood Policies will be increasing between 10-25% based on your Flood Zone.
Some communities have mitigated poor drainage issues and have implemented other storm preparedness procedures that have entitled homeowners to additional credit to soften this increase.
Repeated Flooding in many communities and subsidized pricing in prior years by FEMA has created the need to shore up the Federal Flood Insurance Program.
As always, before making any decisions about any Insurance Coverage, you should contact our office and speak with one of our agents for advice.