On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law “The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012” which extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and includes many program reforms. NAR has created this NFIP Resources Page, which includes links to detailed information on the NFIP to help answer REALTOR® questions about the changes coming to the NFIP.
- Background on NFIP
- Section by Section Highlights of Flood Insurance Reform Act
- Talking Point/Debating the Issue: Flood Insurance Reform
- FEMA Presentation: Changes to the NFIP
- FEMA: Impact of Changes to the NFIP (English and Spanish)
- FEMA: Who Will be Impacted by Pre-FIRM Rate Increases Nationally
- FEMA: Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 Timeline
- FEMA: Q&A on Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
- FEMA: Overview of NFIP
- FEMA Information on changes to the policies and rates of the NFIP
- NFIP Specific Rating Guidelines
FEMA’S Rate Relief Programs
In anticipation of increasing flood insurance rates, FEMA identifies several options that may directly or indirectly result in flood insurance discounts to policyholders.
NFIP Community Rating System
The NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) offers insurance premium discounts (up to 45 percent) for individuals in communities implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements of the NFIP. By implementing CRS floodplain management best practices, flood losses are reduced, public safety is enhanced, and the cost of flood insurance is decreased.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Program
FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities, including elevating properties, that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.
An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building’s elevation. The below fact sheet provides valuable information for homeowners including guidance for obtaining an Elevation Certificate which is necessary for determining full-risk rates in high-risk zones. It may also show that you may be paying too much for flood insurance.
FEMA Flood Map Appeal
If a person believes their property was incorrectly included in a NFIP-identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), they may submit an application to FEMA for a formal determination of the property's location and/or elevation relative to the SFHA.
Raise the Deductible
And like any other insurance policy, you can always raise the deductible.
- NAR: Flood Insurance Subsidies Phasing Out
- FEMA: History and Upcoming Changes to the NFIP
- NAR: How to Disclose Flood Insurance Requirements
- FEMA: Flood Insurance Policy and Claim Statistics
- Interactive Map for NFIP Subsidized Policies by State and County
- Determine Your Flood Zone: “V” (high risk coastal), “A” (high risk river), “X” (low risk) or “D” (unmapped)
- FEMA: NFIP Actuarial Rate Review
Resources for REALTORS® and Consumers
- NAR Legal Guidance on Disclosures
- FEMA: Flood Insurance Rate Maps
- NAR/FEMA Brochure: What To Ask Your Insurance Agent
- NAR/FEMA Brochure: What to Know and Say About Flood Risk and Flood Insurance
- HouseLogic: What Consumers Need to Know About Flood Insurance
- FEMA: Homeowner’s Guide to Elevation Certificates
Additional Information & Research
- Journal Sentinel: Flood Insurance Costs on the Rise
- SunSentinel: Many Floridians Face Rising Tide of Flood Insurance Costs
- RAND Gulf States Policy Institute Analysis of the NFIP and Proposed Reforms
- CRS Report: Status and Remaining Issues for Congress (2013)
- CRS Report: NFIP Background, Challenges, and Financial Status (2011)
- GAO Report: NFIP (2013)
- University of PA – The Wharton School: NFIP Issue Briefs
- University of PA – The Wharton School: White Paper on Pricing Flood Insurance – Texas (2012)
- University of PA – The Wharton School: Paper on Modifying NFIP to Reduce Flood Losses (2012)
- American Institutes for Research: Evaluation of the NFIP’s Building Standards (2006)
- GAO Report - Flood Insurance: More Information Needed on Subsidized Properties