Changes Coming to the National Flood Insurance Program – What to Expect

The City had a briefing recently …

Here’s the PDF of what to expect. (15 pages)

July 16, 2013 Meeting Summary – Rich Sobota, FEMA Region III Insurance Specialist

On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Rich Sobota, insurance specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III, briefed City staff on changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Biggert-Waters extends the NFIP until 2017 and encourages financial stability of the program by increasing flood insurance premium rates to actual risk rates for some subsidized properties.

The two classes of properties that will be affected by these rate increases are 1) Pre-FIRM properties and 2) Grandfathered properties. Pre-FIRM properties are those properties in an area with a 1% annual chance of flooding (100-year floodplain) that were built before the first Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). In Virginia Beach, these are properties built before October 1, 1970. Grandfathered properties are properties that previously had flood insurance, but as the result of a FIRM change are now mapped into a higher risk flood area. In the past, they were allowed to keep paying their old, lower rate.

One thought on “Changes Coming to the National Flood Insurance Program – What to Expect

  1. This month’s SDCC speakers included David Bunn of Nationwide Insurance and Gabor Tarjan of Ace House Movers, Inc. In case you missed their presentations, it was related to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums and how the sizable increases could potentially impact those who live in flood zones, like much of the Shore Drive area.
    If you have a mortgage which requires flood insurance, you have three options; pay new rates; elevate your house to get it above the flood elevation, or demolish the house and rebuild to above the flood elevation. How to decide which option would be best for you?
    Mr. Bunn stated that the NFIP rates will change in the near future and go up for 80% of the policy holders. How much of an increase? No one is sure, BUT FEMA is required by new laws to increase funding for its insurance program and any subsidies will be eliminated.
    Mr. Tarjan said that raising a home cost between $70-100 per square foot. Add another $10 per sq foot for two story homes. Once the engineering studies are completed and the equipment is in place, it could take a week or two to elevate and then reset the house on the new foundation. Both crawl space and slab type foundations can be raised 2-3 feet (or more) above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) which is approximately 7 feet above Mean Low-Low Water (MLLW) in our area.
    Two City Council members (Mr. Brad Martin and Ms Shannon Kane) were in the audience and acknowledged that the impact from flooding and the increasing NFIP premiums rates will continue to be a major concern requiring a city, state and federal effort. The city formed an interdepartmental working group in July 2013 to address theses issues of flooding and NFIP rate increases.


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