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Flood Insurance Legislation Update Will Change Some Premiums


Spencer Rogers, 910/962-2491,

Posted Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Across the United States, many policyholders for the National Flood Insurance Program could find their premiums rising substantially in light of recent changes, according to a review by Spencer Rogers of North Carolina Sea Grant.

"The most significant changes will be for policyholders with older buildings that had been grandfathered into categories based on previous versions of local flood maps, and those buildings that were built to older standards but do not comply with the most recent maps or construction standards," Rogers explains.

Under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, annual premiums for those policies previously only slightly out of compliance could see increases of more than 200 percent or $2,000 for a $100,000 structure. "For higher coverage or farther from compliance, some annual premiums may rise by tens of thousands dollars annually," he adds.

North Carolina Sea Grant's coastal construction and erosion specialist for more than 30 years, Rogers has reviewed the reforms in the federal program, known as NFIP, that were signed into law earlier this year.

In 2007-2009, Rogers served on a panel appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to review the status of floodplain mapping across the nation. He also has worked with individual property owners, as well as local, state and federal officials, and the building design, construction and insurance industries to identify flood-resistant construction practices, as well as storm-resistant adaptations to existing structures, in order to mitigate potential damage from flooding, storm surges and other hazards.

As the impact on flood insurance premiums became apparent, Rogers has prepared a short summary, including text and a table, to describe the potential increases. The memo is available for download here.

Rogers provides examples for structures in or near the two most common flood zones: the AE-zone, found around inland rivers and streams as well as coastal areas; and the VE-zone, where waves are predicted on the ocean shoreline and around larger coastal bays.

"My summary is designed to alert NFIP policyholders to seek professional review of their policy so they can identify how it could change under the new requirements," Rogers adds.

Text of the changes in the National Flood Insurance Program is available from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School:

Overall information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:


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