National Flood Insurance Program Updates

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1 Review of Current Legislation Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 Date of enactment March 21, 2014 Purpose of the legislation The law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted on July 06, 2012 and makes additional program changes to other aspects of the program not covered by Biggert-Waters. Many provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act remain and are still being implemented. The new law lowers the recent rate increases on some policies, prevents some future rate increases, and implements a surcharge on all policy holders. HFIAA also repeals certain rate increases that have already gone into effect and provides for refunds to those policyholders. HFIAA authorizes additional resources for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to complete the affordability study. Refunds for certain flood insurance policies affected by the Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (Pre-FIRM) subsidy elimination required by Biggert-Waters, the new law mandates refunds of the excess premiums that those policyholders were charged pursuant to the requirements of Biggert-Waters Refunds will affect only a small percentage of the overall NFIP policy base. Refunds apply to: Policyholders in high-risk areas who were required to pay their full-risk rate after purchasing a new flood insurance policy on or after July 06, 2012 Refunds may apply to: Policyholders who renewed their policy after the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act was enacted on March 21, 2014 and whose premiums increased more than 18% Refunds Do Not Apply to: Policyholders paying the 25% annual rate increases, as required by Congress in Biggert-Waters for Pre-FIRM subsidized non-primary residences, business, Severe Repetitive Loss property or buildings that were substantially damaged or improved. Premium Rates for Subsidized Policies The new law requires gradual rate increase to properties now receiving artificially low (or subsidized) rates instead of immediate increases to full-risk rates required in certain cases under Biggert-Waters. FEMA is required to increase premiums for most subsidized properties by no less than 5% annually until the class premiums reaches its full-risk rate. With limited exceptions flood insurance premiums cannot increase more than 18% annually. There are some exceptions to these general rules and limitations; the most important of these exceptions is that policies for the following properties will continue to see up to 25% annual increase as required by Biggert-Waters until they reach their full-risk rate. Older non-primary residences insured with subsidized rates Severe Repetitive Loss Properties insured with subsidized rates and buildings that have been substantially damaged or improved built before the local adoption of a Flood Insurance Rate Map (Pre-FIRM). 12/14 1/8

2 New Surcharge on all policies a new surcharge will be added to all policies to offset the subsidized policies and achieve the financial sustainability goals of Biggert-Waters The fee will be included on all policies, including full-risk policies until all Pre-FIRM subsidies are eliminated. Primary residence surcharge will be $25.00 All other policies will have a surcharge of $ Grandfathering the new law repeals a provision of Biggert-Waters that required FEMA, upon the effective date of a new or updated Flood Insurance Rate Map to phase in premium increases over five years by 20% a year. For newly mapped in properties the new law sets first year premiums at the same rate offered to properties located outside the Special Flood Hazard Area (preferred risk policy rates) Changes Effective May 01, 2014 On March 21, 2014 the president signed into law the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). This law repeals and amends certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. Section 3 of the HFIAA requires that FEMA and WYO companies to restore Pre -FIRM subsidized rates for the following properties: (a) Pre-FIRM properties that were not insured when Biggert- Waters was enacted; (b) Pre-FIRM properties that were sold after Biggert-Waters was enacted; and (c) policies for Pre-FIRM properties that were rated full-risk under Biggert-Waters due to a lapse in coverage. Effective May 01, 2014 FEMA is requiring the WYO Companies to use the appropriate October 01, 2013 Pre-FIRM Tables when more favorable than full-risk rates for the following scenarios: New applications for Pre-FIRM buildings rated in zone unnumbered A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, V, VE, V1-V30 and D effective on or after October 01, 2013 and processed on or after May 01, Pre-FIRM subsidized policies assigned to a new building owner upon a purchase occurr ing on or after July 06, 2012 where the endorsement is effective on or after October 01, 2013 and processed on or after May 01, Reinstatement on or after October 04, 2013 of a lapsed Pre-FIRM subsidized policy processed on or after May 01, 2014 Renewal of all policies for Pre-FIRM buildings that were not insured when Biggert Waters was enacted in zones unnumbered A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, V, VE, V1-V30 and D processed on or after May 01, 2014 Renewal of all polices for Pre-FIRM buildings that were purchased after Biggert Waters was enacted in zones unnumbered A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, V, VE, V1-V30 and D processed on or after May 01, 2014 Changes Effective June 01, 2014 On June 01, 2014 the National Flood Insurance Program will be implementing the follow ing changes that were outlined in Bulletin W These are changes will be a combination of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and clarifications of certain program rules. Increase of the Other Residential Building Coverage As of June 01, 2014 other residential buildings (does not include residential condominium building associations) will have the option to purchase or increase coverage to a maximum of $500,000 per building. 12/14 2/8

3 New applications The new maximum amount of coverage will be available for policies written on or after June 01, 2014 Renewal applications 90 days prior to June 02, 2014 a letter will be sent out to eligible policyholders and their agents informing them that they can increase their building coverage limits at any time on or June 01, The standard 30 day waiting period for increasing coverage will still apply. Deductible Change Per section of Biggert-Waters 2012 FEMA is revising the minimum deductibles for the NFIP. The new deductibles will only be available for new business and renewal policies that are effective June 01, Policyholders will be advised of the changes as part of the renewal process, as all policies must comply with the new minimums. Building Coverage PROGRAM TYPE RATING TABLE 8A. MINIMUM DEDUCTIBLE MINIMUM DEDUCTIBLE FOR COVERAGE OF $100,000 OR LESS MINIMUM DEDUCTIBLE FOR COVERAGE OVER $100,000 EMERGENCY All $1,500 N/A REGULAR All Pre-FIRM Subsidized zones: A, AE, A1- A30, AH, AO, V, VE, and V1-V30, AR/AR Dual Zones without Elevation Data All Full-Risk zones: A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, V, VE, and V1-V30, AR/AR Dual Zones with Elevation Data and B, C, X, A99 and D $1,500 $2,000 $1,000 $1,250 Tentative and Provisional $1,000 $1,250 Contents Coverage The minimum deductible will follow the minimum building coverage deductible. Contents-only policies will use the same minimum deductible that apply to buildings coverage that does not exceed $100,000. Revised Primary Residence Definitions Policy Rating Effective June 01, 2014, the NFIP has revised for the underwriting of an application the primary residence definition A building that will be lived in by the insured or the insured s spouse for more than 50% of the 365 days following the policy effective date. This definition will only affect Pre-FIRM renewal risks rated with subsidized rates effective June 01, An insured will still have to meet the SFIP Dwelling form of primary residence to receive replacement cost on damaged building items after a loss occurs. Wright Flood will notify affected policyholders and their agents via letter advising of the change and the form of acceptable documentation. Acceptable documentation is as follows: Driver s License Voters Registration Automobile registration Documents showing where children attend school Proof of insurance for a vehicle Homestead Tax Credit Form for Primary residence If the Wright Flood does not receive the necessary documentation, the renewal will be rated as non-primary residence and will receive the phased-in rate increase required by BW-12 12/14 3/8

4 Maximum Coverage Availability for Non-Residential & Residential Only 1 Policy per Building Section of BW-12 clarifies that buildings insured by the NFIP can have only one policy with building coverage. The total and aggregate liability for a non-residential building or non-condominium building for 5 or more families is $500,000 per structure to be paid to the building owner. The maximum coverage for 1-4 family or condominium units is $250,000 per policy. Clarification of Grandfathering for Condominium Unit Owners A policy for a condominium unit owner may NOT use the existing Residential Condominium Building Association Policy to meet the eligibility for grandfathering. The unit owner s policy must meet the grandfathering eligibility on its own rating information. Tentative Rates Clarification Regarding Subsidy Elimination A Pre-FIRM policy that is transitioning from a subsidized rate to a full-risk rate, insurers can use tentative rates on the policy for only one year. The policy must be renewed using the information contained on the Elevation Certificate. When applying tentative rates for an elevated Pre-FIRM building with enclosure, always use nonelevated/no-basement building rates Tentative rates can be used for one year to transition subsidized Pre-FIRM Residential Condominium Building Association Policies to full-risk policies. Renewal Bill Certified mail Effective June 01, 2014 all renewal notices will include a message about the advantages of using certified mail to submit premium payments. Changes to the NFIP Declarations Page Effective June 01, 2014 the NFIP Declaration Page must display the following information Declaration pages for Pre-FIRM subsidized policies must state Pre-FIRM Subsidized This includes all polices covering Pre-FIRM buildings rated without an elevation certificate and rated in zones unnumbered A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, VE, and V1-V30 and All policies effective October 1, 2013 covering Pre-FIRM buildings in zones unnumbered V & D with original new business dates prior to July 06, 2012 and no lapse on or after October 04, Declaration pages covering primary residences must state Y for those that meet the underwriting definition of primary/principal residence. Standard Flood Insurance Policy Dwelling, General Property & Residential Condominium Building Association Forms Effective June 01, 2014 the conditions, exclusions and coverage limitations stated in each of the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy must be in a boldface type with the font size twice the size of the body of the policy. Insured purchasing a new business or renewing a policy effective on or after June 01, 2014 will receive a copy of their updated policy form. 12/14 4/8

5 Changes Effective October 01, 2014 Primary Residence Determination (New Purchase) As of October 01, 2014 we can accept a Statement of Primary Residence Status letter when documentation of primary residence is not available when the policy is applied for on a newly purchased dwelling. The WYO must obtain this at time of application. For the agent they may contact the Write Your Own company or servicing agents for a form letter or: The agent may provide a letter that provides the insured property address and the following statement with the insured signature at the end. The above address in my primary residence, and I and/or my spouse will live at this location for more than 50% of the 365 days following the policy effective date. PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C I CERTIFY UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY UNDER TH LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THAT THE FORE-GOING IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY FALSE STATEMENTS MAY CAUSE MY POLICY TO BE VOID, AND MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY FINE OR IMPRISONMENT UNDER APPLICABLE FEDERAL LAW. Guidance for Trust & Primary Residence Beneficiary of the Trust If a Trust is named on the policy, and a beneficiary of the Trust is using the building as a primary residence, the beneficiary of the Trust must provide the standard documentation of primary residence outlined under the Primary Residence Determination. In addition, the insurer must obtain documentation that the person using the home as a primary residence is a beneficiary of the Trust named as the insured. Grantor of a Trust The grantor of a Trust may also be eligible for the primary residence rating if the Trust documents support that the grantor is a beneficiary of the Trust with the right to live in the home. The grantor must submit both the Trust documents and the standard documentation of primary residence outlined under Primary Residence Determination. Accordingly, the insurer must obtain documentation that the grantor is a beneficiary of the Trust named as the insured with the right to live in the home as a benefit. Tenant Coverage Named Insured s The building owner must be named on the policy. If the building coverage is purchased by a tenant due to a lease agreement, the tenant may also be named on the policy. Coverage for contents owned by the tenant must be written on a separate policy in the name of the tenant only. Transfer of Business Photograph Requirement Starting April 01, 2015 all elevation-rated policies being transferred from one company to another will require photographs. The photographs on file with the previous insurer may be used if there have been no structural changes that affect the building s rating. Lowest Floor Guide Update To assist the agents who have buildings with Subgrade crawlspaces with garages, the NFIP has inserted page LFG 37. The page guides the agents on where to determine the lowest floor for rating for these types of buildings. 12/14 5/8

6 Changes Effective April 01, 2015 Five New NFIP Program Features: Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) Surcharge to start April 1, The HFIAA annual premium surcharge will apply to all NFIP policy types: including tentative and provisionally policies and will not be counted in the calculation of the 18% annual premium cap. $25 for policies covering single-family primary residences $250 for policies covering single family non-primary residences and 2-4 family dwellings and other residential properties. $250 for policies covering entire condominium buildings written as RCBAP or Other Residential. Without verification of primary residence status, the $250 HFIAA surcharge will be applied. (See Verification of Primary Residence Form to be signed by insured.) The HFIAA surcharge is fully earned and not eligible for refund due to cancellation or reduction of coverage. If building is not eligible for coverage the surcharge is returned. The HFIAA surcharge may be corrected, mid-term, for a pro-rata refund. CAPPED No commission paid to agent on HFIAA Surcharge. Increased Optional Deductible A $10,000 deductible will be available for residential properties. Once selected the $10,000 deductible option will apply to both building and contents coverage. Minimum Deductible set by Building Coverage amount either Pre or Post FIRM New minimum deductibles for PRP and MPPP policies will be: $1,000 for both building and contents for building coverage up to $100,000 $1,250 for building coverage over $100,000 Contents-only policies will receive a $1,000 minimum deductible Establish Newly Mapped into High Risk Zones (SFHA) to replace the PRP Extension Program New Policies: Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) premium rates before the Reserve Fund Assessment (RFA) and Federal Policy Fee (FPF) for the first year after the map revision date. Transition to full risk rates all subsequent years subject to the 18% premium cap Full-risk rates may include a grandfathered zone or BFE. Renewal policies: Previous PRP Extension Program policies will transition to Newly Mapped into High Risk (SFHA) With first renewal policies effective on or after April 1, 2015 Eligibility : Properties newly mapped into High Risk (SFHA) On or after April 1, 2015: Policy effective date must be within 12 months of the map revision date Policies effective date more than one year after the map revision date are eligible for grandfathering to the zone and/or BFE in effect at the time of construction. Between October 1, 2008 and March 31, 2015 Are eligible for the Newly Mapped Procedure if they obtain coverage before April 1, Policies validly issued under the PRP Eligibility Extension prior to April 1, 2015, should be renewed with the Newly Mapped procedure on the first effective date on or after April 1, 2015.* 12/14 6/8

7 Not Eligible for the New Mapped into High Risk Zone New policies effective more than one year after the map revision date on or after April 1, 2015 Pre-FIRM must be rated using the current map flood zone and/or BFE. Post-FIRM buildings may be eligible for grandfathering to flood zone/bfe in place at time of construction. If an EC is available and the full risk rates are lowest, then the full risk rates must be used. Properties that do not meet the loss history requirements for a PRP are not eligible for the Newly Mapped procedure. A Newly Mapped property that becomes ineligible for this procedure due to loss history may be renewed with standard X-zone rating. Pre-FIRM Substantially Damaged/Substantially Improved (SD/SI) Structures Eligible for Glide Path to Full Risk Rates Pre-FIRM structures identified as substantially damaged/ substantially improved (SD/SI) will include 25% annual premium rate increases until they reach full-risk premiums. Previously the SD/SI properties were reclassified as Post-FIRM requiring full-risk rates. If the full-risk premium is lower than the subsidized premium, the full-risk rating should be used. Increases/Changes: Reserve Fund The Reserve Fund Assessment will increase to 15 percent for all policies except PRPs. The Reserve Fund Assessment for PRPs will be 10 percent. CAPPED, Subject to Pro-Rata Refund Rules, with no commission paid to agent on the Reserve Fund. Federal Policy Fee (FPF) The FPF will remain $22 for PRPs and will increase to $45 for all other policies except RCBAPs. This $45 FPF also applies to those policies previously rated under the PRP EE(now rated under Properties Newly Mapped into the SFHA), as well as policies effective on or after April 1, 2015 covering properties that were newly mapped into the SFHA by a map revision that became effective on or after March 21, 2014 (effective date of HFIAA) The FPF s for the RCBAP are provide below 1 unit $45 per policy 2-4 units $135 per policy 5-10 units $360 per policy units $720 per policy 21 or more units $1,800 per policy Non-Primary and Severe Repetitive Loss Properties These properties will continue to receive annual 25 percent increases on a rate class basis, not an individual basis, until full-risk rates are achieved. A renewal of a policy on a Pre-FIRM, primary residence that is not an SRL property that changes to an SRL or a non-primary residence status would see an increase greater than 25 percent. 12/14 7/8

8 Premium Increases Premium increases effective April 1, 2015, limits average annual increases in flood insurance premiums to 15 percent for each risk class, while also requiring the average increase for all Pre-FIRM subsidized policies be at least 5 percent. In addition, 18 percent is the most any individual premium may increase, with some limited exceptions that include, but are not limited to, misratings and increases in the amount of insurance coverage or a change in the Community Rating System (CRS discount). When premium increases are evaluated for compliance with these caps, the Reserve Fund Assessment is included as the Reserve Fund is calculated off the premium. ** Note: The Congressionally-mandated surcharge ($25 or $250), the probation surcharge, and the Federal Policy Fee (FPF) are not considered premiums and, therefore, are not subject to the 18% cap as a result, the increase in the total amount charged a policyholder may exceed 18 percent in some cases. Premiums, including the Reserve Fund Assessment but excluding the FPF and the new HFIAA-mandated surcharge, will increase an average of 9.9% for policies written or renewed on or after April 1, When the FPF and the new HFIAA-mandated surcharge are included, the total amount charged to the policyholder will increase an average of 19.8 percent. The average premium change by zone varies as described below, showing both the average premium increase (including the Reserve Fund Assessment) and the average total increase (including the FPF, the HFIAA surcharge, and any applicable probation surcharged) charged to the policyholder. Flood Zone A1-A30 and AE AO, AH, AOB, AHB Unnumbered A A99 AR V, V1-V30 and VE Standard B, C and X D Zones Pre-FIRM (Subsidized) Primary Residence Total Increase15% Total Increase15% Total Increase 15% Total 19% Total Increase 15% Increase 11% Total Increase 20% Total Increase 15% Pre-FIRM (Subsidized) Non-Primary Residence Total Increase 37% Total Increase 37% Total Increase37% Total 19% Total Increase 37% Increase 11% Total Increase 20% Total Increase 37% Pre-FIRM (Subsidized) 2-4, Other Residential and Non-Residential Total 19% Increase 11% Total Increase 20% PRP Policies: Premiums will decrease an average of 2%, but overall the average amount these policyholders will pay increase 14%. Post-FIRM (full risk rates) Increase 9% Increase 10% Total Increase23% Total Increase 21% Increase 9% Total Increase 13% Increase 11% Total Increase 20% Increase 13% PRP EE Policies: Premiums will decrease an average of 13%, but overall the average amount these policyholders pay will increase 7%. ** Please be aware that FEMA did not analyze the subsidized groups across zones, so the usual caveat that individuals can see increase different than these averages applies doubly; once because of different coverage/deductible/rates/etc. within any zone, but again because of different average premiums across zones. Use the lower rate on Pre-FIRM buildings with EC figures available: Full-risk rates should always be used for Pre-FIRM buildings with elevation information when the full-risk rate is lower than the appropriate Pre-FIRM subsidized rates. Pre-FIRM subsidized rates should be utilized for Pre-FIRM buildings when more favorable than a full-risk rate or when insufficient information is submitted to determine a full-risk rate. 12/14 8/8

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