Recent changes to FEMA’s flood zone mapping impacts insurance rates.

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The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is in the process of implementing Congressionally mandated reforms
required by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) that repeal and modify the Biggert-
Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). The new law slows some flood insurance rate increases
and offers relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood insurance premium increases in 2013 and early
2014. Flood insurance rates and other charges will be revised for new or existing policies beginning on April 1, 2015.
In addition to insurance rates, other changes resulting from Biggert-Waters and HFIAA will be implemented that
will affect the total amount a policyholder pays for a flood insurance policy. Highlights of some of those changes
follow. For full explanations and guidance, see WYO Bulletin (W-14053) and the Flood Insurance Manual.
The changes taking place in April include an increase in the Reserve Fund Assessment, the implementation of an
annual surcharge on all new and renewed policies, an additional deductible option, an increase in the Federal Policy
Fee, and rate increases for most policies. Key changes include:
  • Implementing annual rate changes that set rates using rate-increase limitations set by HFIAA for individual
premiums and rate classes:
  • Limiting increases for individual premiums to 18 percent of premium.
  • Limiting increases for average rate classes to 15 percent.
  • Mandatory increases for certain subsidized policyholders under Biggert-Waters and HFIAA.
  • Increasing the Reserve Fund assessments required by Biggert-Waters.
  • Implementing annual surcharges required by HFIAA.
  • Guidance on substantially damaged and substantially improved structures
  • Implementing a new procedure for properties newly mapped into the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
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