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Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12)

10/21/2013

Residents may see increases in flood insurance rates.

Beginning this month, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is phasing out subsidizing or "grandfathering" for flood insurance policies on non-primary residences, businesses, and severe repetitive loss properties. Also, new policies issued after a purchase of property, a lapse in coverage, substantial damage, or substantial improvements will be at full-risk rates. Later as BW-12 implementation moves forward subsidies for primary residences will be phased out and could mean big increases for some property owners.

In Washington County there are about 1027 flood insurance policies of which 205 are subsidized. To know if your policy is subsidized, look at the insurance premium rate sheet summary page that lists the flood zone as well as a box indicating if the rate is grandfathered or not. If 'yes' is checked, the property is grandfathered and benefits from a subsidy.

You will probably need an elevation certificate to determine the correct insurance rate. Policy holders could see premiums decrease or increase significantly. Elevation certificates may be part of mortgage documents or be on file with the insurance agent or lender. The City floodplain administrator keeps copies of elevations certificates on file if they were required at construction. Property owners may also hire a licensed surveyor to complete a new elevation certificate.

More information is provided in the fact sheet Impact of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Changes and can be found on the FEMA website. http://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-reform-act-2012

The City of Fayetteville floodplain administrator, Sarah Wrede, is available to answer questions about your flood zone and may be contacted at (479) 575-8208 or swrede@ci.fayetteville.ar.us.