National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Requirements
Responsibility for flood loss reduction is shared by all units of government— local, state and federal—and the private sector. Fulfilling this responsibility depends on having the knowledge and skills to plan and implement needed floodplain management measures. The fundamental floodplain management program that most others are built on is the NFIP.
Certain activities (e.g., floodproofing design, survey of building elevations, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, survey and topographic data) require certification by a licensed professional architect, engineer, surveyor, or the community floodplain administrator. ”Managing Floodplain Development Through The NFIP ” can be downloaded via this link. http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2108 or click here (entire document).
Flood Insurance Manual Changes
Flood Insurance Manual changes become effective on October 1st, 2012. Flood Insurance Premiums will rise an average of 5% for policies written or renewed on or after October 1st, 2012. The NFIP Flood Insurance Manual is revised twice a year – in May and October. This year’s October changes include updates to the Reference, General Rules, Rating, Condominiums, Preferred Risk Policy, and Severe Repetitive Loss Properties sections, among others. The General Rules section now stipulates that, in order to avoid a 30-day waiting period, borrowers who are required to purchase flood insurance must obtain coverage within 60 days of the date of the lender’s letter requiring the insurance. The Cancellation/Nullification section in particular saw significant changes, with updates to the cancellation rules and the new signature requirement for cancellation requests. In addition, the CRS section contains a brand-new CRS Premium Discount Eligibility table as well as updates to the Community Rating System Eligible Communities list.
- The October 2012 Flood Insurance Manual can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=6393.
For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), visit http://www.fema.gov/about/programs/nfip/index.shtm.
For more information about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), go to http://www.fema.gov/.
FloodSmart Websites Offer New Resources for FloodSmart Partners and Agents
Reprinted from FEMA’s September 14, 2012 issue of NFIP eWatermark
Have you visited FloodSmart’s consumer or agent websites lately? Both sites have been expanding over the last few years, offering new and improved resources for groups who often play a critical role in helping homeowners understand, and address, their flood risk with insurance protection. From an entirely new section of FloodSmart.gov housing outreach tools for stakeholders to a helpful new guide that agents can take into the field after an event, both sites are evolving to provide more tools and resources to support NFIP partners who connect consumers to flood insurance.
We have several interesting additions for NFIP partners and agents.
New Community Resources Page
FloodSmart has a new resource for stakeholders and communities that want to go the extra mile to help property owners better understand their flood risk and the financial impact of flooding. This new page on FloodSmart.gov provides sharable tools for communicating the risks, causes, and costs of flooding and a wealth of information about how to empower local residents to obtain flood insurance policies.
Resources on the page include interactive tools showing flood risks and the cost of flooding; toolkits with materials to support your work around flood outreach, flood map changes, and levees; videos showing the devastation caused by flooding; and embeddable widgets highlighting specific flood risks. Visit the page to learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/partner/partner_index.jsp.
Updated Map Change Toolkit
The Map Change Toolkit is a comprehensive suite of materials that help local leaders, insurance and real estate professionals, lenders, builders, developers, and others communicate the insurance implications of local flood map updates.
The kit has been updated to include more current data and reflect the evolution of mapping efforts. It includes templates for outreach that can be customized with local data and flood history information. Look for the updated toolkit in the Tools & Resources section of the Community Resources Page at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/partner/tools_resources.jsp.
Agent Field Guide
Agents.FloodSmart.gov has a new guide to help insurance agents promote the importance of flood insurance to their customers. The guide includes a wealth of tips on how to explain flood risks, talking points that can be useful in telephone conversations and in-person client and prospect meetings, “barrier buster” messages that can help you overcome resistance to purchasing a policy, and much more. Check it out atwww.Agents.FloodSmart.gov.
Please visitwww.FloodSmart.gov to see what is new and exciting for agents, real estate professionals, lenders, and community officials.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Links
The NFIP provides a wealth of information that can strengthen residents understanding of flood-related issues, including how to prepare for floods, how to obtain financial protection against flood damage, and what to do after a flood disaster.
- Claims Adjusters
- Homeowners and Renters
- Insurance Professionals
- State & Local Officials
All Severe Repetitive Loss Property Policies Are Being Rewritten
Currently, there are more than 12,300 Severe Repetitive Loss Property (SRLP) policies being serviced by the NFIP-Special Direct Facility (NFIP-SDF). The majority of these SRLP policies were written years ago and the underwriting information has not been updated from what was on the original application.
To help ensure the policy information and rates are current and correct, FEMA announced in NFIP Bulletin W-12037 (June 12, 2012) that the NFIP-SDF will begin re-underwriting SRLP policies as they come up for renewal starting October 1, 2012. The NFIP-SDF is requiring a new application, photos of the front and rear of the building, Elevation Certificate if applicable, and any additional supporting documents to ensure that policy information and rates are current and correct. Policies will be processed and issued based upon current rates, zone, and map information, except for those properties meeting the NFIP grandfathering eligibility rules. To alert the insured and the agent to this change, the NFIP-SDF is sending out a series of letters to the agents and policyholders as follows:
First letter – issued to the agent 90-120 days prior to renewal.
Second letter – issued to the agent and insured 15 days after the first letter if no response has been received.
Second letter – issued to the agent and insured if partial information has been received and additional documentation is still required.
Final letter – issued 15 days after the 2nd request if no response has been received (this letter will advise all parties that if the required information is not received within 15 days of the “Final” letter, the policy will either be tentatively rated or issued based on the current rating).
While this means an extra effort by the agent and policyholder (and perhaps a community official to help obtain some of the information), the re-underwriting benefits the Program, policyholder, community and agent; e.g.:
More financially sound rates
Provide more accurate picture of the risks when targeting SLRPs for mitigation efforts
Minimize delays in case of a claim due to rating discrepancies.
If you have any questions about this new requirement, please contact an NFIP Special Direct Facility Underwriter at www.NFIPServices.com. Or call the NFIP-SDF Customer Service Center at 1-800-638-6620.
On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 extending the National Flood Insurance Program’s authority through September 30, 2017. Guidance on the NFIP implementation of this authority will be provided in future bulletins.
Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension for Insurance Professionals
New resources have been created to help various audiences understand and explain the benefits of the NFIP’s new Preferred Risk Policy Extension. The link above will not only allow you to access important documents created for the insurance professional but also to navigate to other resources created for each audience type.
Flood Insurance Requirements for Recipients of Federal Disaster Assistance
When property owners receive financial assistance from the Federal Government following a Presidentially declared disaster, they may be required to purchase flood insurance coverage.
Answers to Questions About the NFIP
This booklet is intended to acquaint the public with the National Flood Insurance Program. This publication is designed for readers who do not need a detailed history or refined technical or legal explanations, but do need a basic understanding of the program and the answers to some frequently asked questions.
- FloodSmart – Learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy, and what the benefits are of protecting home and property against flooding.
- FEMA Levee Resources – Access fact sheets on living behind levees, the NFIP, and frequently asked questions for the public as well as other levee-related information.
- NFIP Community Rating System – Access a full description of the NFIP Community Rating System with information about the benefits of the CRS and how to join.
- FEMA Map Service Center (800) 358-9616 – Learn about the current status of local flood maps and related flood risks or order current maps.
- Map Change Toolkit - Use this downloadable toolkit of customizable template materials and resources to help you communicate what map changes will mean to those in your community, as well as flood risk and flood insurance. Flood Outreach Toolkit Access the FloodSmart campaigns comprehensive outreach toolkit with materials and resources, including fact sheets on a range of flood insurance and preparedness topics, the insurance implications of local map changes, answers to tough questions, and online resources. Request a copy by emailing: email@example.com
Elevation Certificate Information
FEMA Releases New Elevation Certificate
Link here to the Elevation Certificate F-053_ElevCertif_29Nov12_
Or you can go to FEMA’s website at: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1383.
FEMA will permit a “phase-in” of the new Elevation Certificate on a voluntary basis. Please review Bulletin W-12023, which can be found by visiting http://www.nfipiservice.com/Stakeholder/pdf/bulletin/w-12023.pdf, for additional information.
Additional guidance can be found in FEMA Publication 467-1, Floodplain Management Bulletin: Elevation Certificate, available on FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1727.
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