Another Spring is quickly approaching, and with it comes another round of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increases. As of April 1, 2018, many Tampa Bay residents will see higher premiums on their flood renewal bills. Overall, we’re going to see an average flood insurance rate increase of 8%, but the increase depends on the age of the property, type of property, and flood zone that the property lies in.
Pre-FIRM Subsidized Policies
Pre-FIRM subsidized policies (including AE & VE), which make up the majority of properties around St. Petersburg, are going to see some of the largest flood insurance rate increases. These properties were built before the flood maps were created, and most are built well below the base flood elevation. Primary residences, condominiums, multifamily residences (i.e. cooperatives and apartments) are all going to see a 5% average flood rate increase; while non-primary residences are going to see an average increase of 22%. Commercial properties are getting the hardest with 23% average flood insurance rate increases.
Post-FIRM AE Zone Policies
Post-FIRM AE zones, most of which are built above the base flood elevation, are only going to see an increase of only 1%. However, Post-FIRM VE zones are also going to see an increase of 11%. The rate increase for these VE flood zone properties is a result of the Heinz Center’s Erosion Zone Study which indicated that the premiums charged for these properties underestimates the increased risk from steadily eroding coastlines.
X Zone Policies
X zones which are eligible for Preferred Risk Policies are only seeing a 1% increase as well. However, as of January 1st, 2019 they will see an total increase of 5%.
Along with the premium increases, FEMA is also making some underwriting changes. This includes allowing spouses to have 2 separate primary residences if each spouse lives in a separate residence over 50% of the year.
As premiums increase, we encourage our clients to reach out with any questions they have. Although you take more risk, increasing your deductible can often offset some of the premium increase. We have also seen a rise in the number of private flood options available. Although there are some downsides, private flood policies can also be robust, and offer some premium savings.
If you have any questions about your Flood insurance, please contact our office at 727-345-0242 or contact Brian T. Ford, CPCU, CIC at firstname.lastname@example.org