Flood Insurance Premiums To Go Up April 1st.
Federal flood insurance premiums are set to go up April 1st of 2018. Many homeowners and home buyers in flood-prone areas will see rate increases starting Easter Sunday. The premium hikes, which are required by law, will average about 2% in X-rated flood zones, non flood-prone areas, to as high as 24% for homes and condos and businesses in designated flood hazard areas. On average the increase will be around 8%.
The reason for the wide variance in rate hikes has to do with whether or not you’re home is your primary residence or is a secondary residence or an investment property. Plus, what designated flood hazard area the property is located within.
Primary homes in X-zones, non flood-prone areas, will rise about 2%.
Primary homes in flood hazard areas will rise about 5% on average.
Non primary residences in an X-zone will also only rise about 2%.
Non primary residences in designated flood Hazard areas could see a rate increase up to as high as 24%.
All policies carry additional surcharges from $25 up to $250 depending on whether the property is a primary residence, a second home, investment property or a commercial property.
The national flood insurance program (NFIP), was created 50 years ago in 1968. The program allows property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance from the US government that covers losses from flooding. However, after many recent catastrophes in the last 15 to 20 years the NFIP is nearly $25 billion dollars in debt. The program needed to be overhauled.
Congress has tried to fix the problem with a major overhaul in 2012. This overall sent flood insurance premiums skyrocketing. The rate shocks throughout the housing and insurance industries were alarming and threatened to cripple the barely recovering real estate market. After this uproar the overhaul was drastically amended in 2014.
The new law allowed for smaller premium increases each year and gave congress until the fall of 2017 to an act a new flood insurance program. However Congress has temporarily extended the program 6 times in the last 7 months essentially kicking the problem down the road.
Now the time has come. Congress has until July 31, 2018 to create a new program flood insurance program.This deadline appears to be the final deadline as provisions in the new $1.3 trillion dollars spending deal, recently approved by congress and the president, will make it much harder to keep extending the program. So we wait again.
Watch this column for further updates and details on this very important program affecting housing, real estate values and insurance rates in our area.