Floodplain Management

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Flood Insurance

 

 

 

Standard homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding, that's why it is important to have financial protection from floods that cause damage to structures and property.

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which works closely with more than 80 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners.

The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

Risk Rating 2.0

FEMA is updating the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) pricing methodology using a system called Risk Rating 2.0. The methodology will enable FEMA to deliver rates that are actuarily sound, equitable, easier to understand and better reflect a property’s flood risk. FEMA will be implementing the system using a phased approach to rolling out the new rates.

Current National Flood Insurance Program policyholders can contact their insurance company or insurance agent at any time to learn more about what Risk Rating 2.0-Equity in Action means to them.

PHASE I

New policies beginning Oct. 1, 2021, will be subject to the new rating methodology. Also beginning Oct. 1, existing policyholders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of immediate decreases in their premiums.

PHASE II

All remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new rating methodology.  

FEMA continues to engage with Congress, its industry partners and state, local, tribal and territorial agencies to ensure clear understanding of these changes.  

What is Changing Under Risk Rating 2.0?

The Rating System

Previously, flood insurance rates were based on static measurements, and were primarily determined using a property’s elevation within regulatory flood zones.

With Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA now has the capability and tools to address rating disparities by incorporating more flood risk variables at an individual property level. These include flood frequency, multiple flood types (river overflow, storm surge, coastal erosion and heavy rainfall), and distance to a water source along with property characteristics such as elevation and the cost to rebuild.

In Nebraska, 43% of policyholders will see a decrease in their flood insurance premium. 45% of policyholders will see just a $0-$10 increase in their monthly rate. Current policyholders who will face premium decreases under Risk Rating 2.0 will transition to the lower rate immediately at the first renewal of their policy. Any premium increases will transition gradually and within the existing statutory limits until the full-risk rate for the property is reached. Below is the full range of expected rate changes for Nebraskans:

Elevation Certificates

Elevation Certificates will no longer be required to obtain a Flood Insurance quote. Because each property is receiving an individualized assessment, elevation data will be provided to the applicant. Elevation Certificates may still be obtained if the applicant feels it may benefit their insurance rate. Elevation Certificates will still be required for communities participating in CRS.

Expanded Mitigation Credits

Under Risk Rating 2.0, certified mitigation strategies can be utilized and credited towards a discount on flood insurance policies. At the individual policy level, there are two forms of mitigation credits that can be awarded:

  • Machinery and Equipment (M&E):

The location of Machinery and Equipment (M&E) no longer has anything to do with determining what is considered the lowest floor. Rather, the building’s foundation type will determine where the M&E needs to be located to get the credit. The credit equates to a 5% discount on flood insurance and is available to ALL eligible policyholders.

Furthermore, agents and policyholders will now be able to self-certify whether the M&E are in compliance by answering “Yes/No” on the Insurance Application.

The Risk Rating 2.0 Flood Insurance Manual (also located at the bottom of the page under "Documents and Resources") will contain detailed guidance on where the M&E should be elevated based on foundation type.

M & E includes = Central AC (excluding compressor), Furnace, Heat Pump (excluding compressor), Hot Water Heater, & Elevator machinery & equipment

 

  • Flood Vents:

Credit for flood vents or openings will be expanded to all eligible policyholders, regardless of flood zone. The flood venting credit will be based on a percentage discount of 3%-27%. The insurance agent and policyholder will again be able to self-certify the venting and will be required to maintain documentation in the underwriting file which will be subject to FEMA Operational Reviews. The flood venting requirement itself is not changing, and venting must still comply with 44 CFR 60.3.

More details on this credit are included in the new Risk Rating 2.0 Flood Insurance Manual.  

What’s Not Changing Under Risk Rating 2.0?

Limiting Annual Premium Increases

Existing statutory limits on rate increases require that most rates not increase more than 18% per year.

Using Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Mandatory Purchase and Floodplain Management

FEMA’s flood map data informs the catastrophe models used in the development of rates under Risk Rating 2.0. That is why critical flood mapping data is necessary and essential for communities. It informs floodplain management building requirements and the mandatory purchase requirement.

LOMA and LOMR-F Process

LOMAs and LOMR-Fs will still be available to property owners wanting to remove their properties or structures from the floodplain. The process will remain the same, and an elevation certificate will be required.

Maintaining Features

FEMA will be maintaining features to simplify the transition to Risk Rating 2.0 by offering premium discounts to eligible policyholders. This means:

  • 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. This transfer is encouraged, as an existing policy will remain on the maximum 18% glide path to the full-risk rating, while a new policy would be introduced at the full-risk rating with no glide path.

  • And, discounts to policyholders in communities who participate in the Community Rating System will continue. Communities will continue to earn National Flood Insurance Program rate discounts of 5% - 45% based on the Community Rating System classification. However, since Risk Rating 2.0 does not use flood zones to determine flood risk, the discount will be uniformly applied to all policies throughout the participating community, regardless of whether the structure is inside or outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area.

Documents and Resources

Need further information?

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