Recent Flood Changes
Recently there has been a tremendous amount of publicity regarding changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. There are three flood issues happening at once:
1- On 7/6/12, Congress enacted new legislation called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. This piece of legislation was constructed to deal with the $20 billion dollar deficit in the National Flood Program since its inception. In short, all flood subsidies will be phased out and homes built in the flood zones will transition to “full risk premium”.
2- The National Flood Insurance Program will have a rate increase beginning 10/1/13.
3- The Army Corp of Engineers has recently published revised flood maps for all of Barnstable County. Many Cape homeowners’ flood risk will have changed from non-hazardous to hazardous. When these maps become effective in May or June of 2014, mortgage lenders, at that time, will require all homeowners in the hazardous zones to purchase flood insurance.
What you can you do:
1- If you currently have an active flood policy, pay your bill on time. A lapse in coverage can definitely cost you.
2 – Be proactive and determine what flood zone your home will be in. You can go to your Town’s website and access the Preliminary 2014 Flood Maps. Below are links to some towns on Cape – please note that access to maps can change:
If your town does not have the new changes published to their website, you will need to determine which FEMA map you need to view by going to a town “index” map first and then selecting the proposed map from this list of Barnstable maps:
3 – If you have a flood specific question for us , please address it to email@example.com
Information that matters:
1- On what date was your home built? If it was built prior to the Town’s FIRM date, it is considered Pre-FIRM. If it is built after your Town’s FIRM date, it is considered Post-FIRM. These terms make a difference in rating and whether you will immediately need an elevation certificate. You can find your Town’s FIRM date here: Community Status Inital FIRM
2- Your lowest floor elevation. FEMA will be requiring all homes in hazard zones to obtain an Elevation Certificate. This will help to accurately rate the policy for full risk. If the home has previously had an elevation certificate, you may find a copy at Town Hall. If not, you will be required to contact a survey or engineer or architect to obtain one. Costs can range from $750 to $2000 .
The new flood maps were updated using GPS technology. It is recommended that the elevation certificate you secure use the same technology. There are four firms on Cape that utilize this information and the two located in Lower Cape Cod are:
1- E&L will be holding a forum at large to answer your flood questions. Please look to the local newspaper for location and time. We also will be sending an e-mail with that invitation to all our customers.
2-If your flood zone is changing from non-hazardous to hazardous, there may be steps to mitigate the premiums you pay over the next several years. Each circumstance is different and needs to be reviewed. E&L will review each property location we insure and contact our customer with that assessment.