We have also started to get some information on how HFIAA will impact people in Vermont specifically, as well as the impacts to flood insurance nationally. Here is a short summary:
- It will take some time to start to implement provisions of the new law:
- In the short term, there may still be individuals that get hit with full actuarial rates due to a new policy on a preFIRM residence (home built before the first Flood Insurance Rate Maps were created). This new policy could be due to a lapsed flood insurance policy or a new policy being written due to a transfer of the property and/or a requirement by a lender for flood insurance;
- There will also be a lag for people who will be expecting refunds due to the change in their flood insurance premium as a result of the HFIAA.
- If you are a property owner living in Bennington County or in the Town/Village of Richmond here in Vermont: FEMA will be releasing new preliminary or effective DFIRMs in the coming year. Richmond's new DFIRMs are scheduled to become effective on 8/2/2014. Bennington County's new DFIRMs are anticipated to become effective about one year from now (March 2015). If the new preliminary DFIRMs show your house to be located in the mapped flood hazard area where you had not been shown to be located in the flood hazard area on previous FIRMs, you may be eligible for a grandfathered flood insurance rating. Anyone who may be eligible for receiving grandfathered flood insurance rates is encouraged to get flood insurance BEFORE the new DFIRMs become effective for your community. For more information regarding FEMA's grandfathering policy, please see an earlier post that was written for the Washington County map update process. Please note that the estimated flood insurance premiums discussed may be different due to the effects of either Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12) or HFIAA.
- Flood Insurance premiums are going up for everyone. While the HFIAA is allowing a phase-in of higher rates for primary homeowners, the law is still enabling a push for all policies to eventually reach full actuarial rates. Property owners should seriously consider mitigating their home or structure(s) to reduce their flood risk and reduce the cost of flood insurance. Additional information about mitigating your home or structure can be found on the VT Flood Resilience Sharepoint site found under either "Step 5: Insure" or "Step 3: Reduce".
If you are a local official or someone else that may be helping individuals affected by the changes from the HFIAA, the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) will be offering two upcoming webinars in May and June focused on the changes to Biggert Waters 2012 from HFIAA (see dates below). From the ASFPM announcement, the first webinar in early April filled up and these two follow up webinars are also expected fill up quickly.
Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) of 2014 (AKA Grimm-Waters 2014) meets Biggert-Waters 2012: Impacts and Implications
Learn how the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act modifies and expands on BW-12 implications
1 core CEC for CFMs
$30 for ASFPM Individual Members*
$45 ASFPM Chapters/Agencies/Corporate Partners*
*Members must enter the event promo code at registration to receive the preferred rate. ASFPM members should register through the ASFPM Membership Login page.
More information about the webinars can found by clicking on the webinar flyer links below: