It’s not an April Fools’ joke; flood insurance premiums will begin to increase today. The increased premiums are happening now as part of the Flood Insurance Relief Bill that was signed last year in response to the increased flood premiums that were being sent to policyholders under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
The highly criticized Biggert-Waters Flood Act of 2012 was set up to was shore-up the national flood insurance debt, but the way the law was written caused the cost of flood insurance for many property owners to skyrocket without a gradual implementation. With little warning, 2014 premium invoices were sent to homeowners for tens of thousands of dollars for one year of coverage. Many of these homeowners were not even in waterfront communities but have property that falls on the flood plain map and were required to carry the insurance by their mortgage company. There was an uproar around the nation and many real estate markets—even in inland areas—took a giant step backward.
The remedy: The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which stopped the 25% annual increases and lowered the percentages to 15-18% on most policies. April 1, 2015 is the day the fees and premium increases will be implemented on renewal notices.
Homeowners can expect to now pay a higher percentage and a pay a $25.00 surcharge for their primary homes while those who have multi-family or secondary homes will pay a $250.00 fee. The rate hikes will also vary but primary homeowners will see a 15-18% rise in the costs but nothing higher than 18%. Other properties including businesses can have a 25% increase.
In 2014, it was reported by the Washington Times that the National Flood Program is somewhere around 24 billion dollars in debt and 90% of U.S. National disasters involve some sort of flooding according to the Palm Beach County Flood Facts.
Be sure to check out these other posts on flood insurance rates