As you may know by now today (Oct 1,23013) marks the day that some changes put in place by the Biggert-Waters Act go into effect.
Here is a little history regarding BW-12:
July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes already have occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some,but not all,policyholders over time.
So what does all this red tape mean to you?
1. Under the act, insurance rates for some property owners would increase by 25 percent each year for five years.
2. The Biggert-Waters Act does away with the practice of “grandfathering” — a provision that exempts property owners whose homes and businesses were built to the base flood elevations outlined in FEMA flood maps adopted before the most recent remapping.
3. If you purchased a home after July 2012 and assumed a flood policy from the seller you will be affected. Once it is time for renewing your flood policy you will be forced to carry flood at today’s current rate. This means you will need to get a flood elevation certificate and carry a policy at the current rates.
4. If you let your policy laps at any point after July 2012, you will need to carry flood now at the new rate.
On top of the changes noted above FEMA is also issuing new flood maps for Louisiana parishes to adopt. Some parishes that are adopting new maps are St Bernard, Jefferson, Orleans, Baton Rouge, and St Tammany. Most of these map adoptions have been going on for quite a while. If you haven’t been affected yet by the new map adoption, you probably will be by the end of this year. Now, don’t panic, some new map adoptions are actually good news. For example, the flood maps adoptions in St Bernard Parish will have a positive affect on most residence. Because the upgrades in the levee system surrounding St. Bernard you will notice a positive affect on the flood maps. Some areas such as Lexington Place and homes closest to the forty arpent canal will actually go from a flood zone A to a flood zone X.
To learn more about what is going on with your home please click the link below http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps/
(PLEASE NOTE, THE PRELIMINARY FIRM MAPS ARE THE PROPOSED MAPPING OF YOUR AREA)
Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.
Author: Tiffani Robin
Dated: October 1st 2013