The MCC is proud to announce the addition of two new members to our board of directors, Gail Kubik and Nathan Dill.
Gail Kubik Gail takes the initiative to innovate and advocate for communities to build urban resilience programs and establish emergency disaster response systems. As an Architectural professional, a public speaker and a resilience consultant, she is recognized as a thought leader in climate adaptation and improving the 'resilience of place' through public interest design.
Nathan Dill Nate is a coastal engineer with expertise in coastal processes and flood hazard analyses. He has performed numerical modeling, and data collection and analyses of coastal processes to support environmental impact studies, hydraulic and hydrologic analyses, coastal flooding analyses, effluent discharge and mixing zone studies, sediment transport analyses, and design of coastal infrastructure. He has experience with a variety of hydrodynamic and wave models, is fluent in multiple programming languages and frequently utilizes high performance computing.
Congress enacted the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968, intending to provide flood coverage because private insurance no longer offered it. By 1973, only 95,000 flood insurance policies were sold nationwide. To increase the program’s acceptance, Congress enacted the Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA) in 1974, establishing the “Mandatory Purchase” requirement. It obliged Federally Regulated lending institutions to issue loans in high-risk flood zones only when flood insurance is simultaneously written. The law mandated that if flood insurance is not purchased, the lender must force place coverage on the borrower. This protected the loan from default from flooding and provided high-risk flood coverage.
It seems that every flood event brings the NFIP, and its critics, to the forefront of media attention. With each event, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017, come headlines telling a similar story: mandatory purchase requirement has failed. However, we fail to separate those required to have flood insurance from those who choose not to have coverage. Nearly 85% of Hurricane Harvey’s victims did not have flood insurance. The primary reason was because flood insurance was not required. Mandatory purchase versus the voluntary purchase of flood insurance needs to be better understood to protect against future floods. There are large gaps in data that cloud the uninsured issue and fail to get to the root of the problem.
Opinion: Congress Must Find Solutions on Flood Insurance Authored By: Nick Fyntrilakis, MAIA President & CEO
Millions of Americans rely on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) every day to protect their homes and businesses. The NFIP is currently the main source for flood insurance in the U.S, yet for the past year the program, and those who rely on it, have been in a state of perpetual uncertainty as Congress wrestles with crafting legislative solutions to modernize the program. The NFIP must be periodically reauthorized by Congress, and those reauthorizations often include substantive changes and reforms intended to keep the program operating appropriately.
The NFIP is currently reauthorized through November 30, but disagreement over how to make reforms to the program has resulted in a lack of consensus in Congress on how to move forward. The last long-term extension of the NFIP expired on September 30, 2017. Since then, there have been a series of seven stop-gap extensions and two brief lapses of the program. Simply put, this is unacceptable and is a disservice to those who rely on the program.
While it is necessary to keep the NFIP operating, stop-gap measures distract Congress from finding a long-term solution to a problem that needs fixing: increasing the number of property owners that have flood insurance. Congress must shift conversations from merely keeping the program operational to finding solutions to reform the NFIP and increase take up rates for flood insurance. Hurricane Florence, and last year’s disasters in Houston and elsewhere have shown that not enough at-risk properties have flood insurance.
Flooding occurs in all 50 states. It is not a partisan issue. Everyone is served by making sure that communities and property owners are properly insured against floods. It’s a fact that those with flood insurance recover more quickly from a disaster than those without. That’s why the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) is working closely with the bi-partisan advocacy team at our federal counterpart, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (the Big “I”), to help shape federal flood insurance policy and ensure that Bay Staters and our neighbors across the country can recover from a flood, should disaster strike.
Specifically, MAIA and the Big “I” have been pounding the pavement to encourage Congress to support a long-term reauthorization of a modernized NFIP that would increase take up rates for flood insurance, both in the NFIP and in the private market. With the program yet again on the brink of an expiration in November, MAIA urges Congress not only to act to avoid a lapse in NFIP operations, but to look past politics and work to develop policies that will help increase disaster resiliency by ensuring that flood insurance options are affordable and available to all property owners who need it.
Sue's Flood Real Estate Tips Keep your NFIP Policy In Place
When mortgages get paid off, your first thought might be “I can now get rid of that pesky flood insurance bill”. But whether its next year or in 20 years, someone with a mortgage will most likely be buying your home. They would require flood insurance in that case. If you cancel your flood insurance policy, you will lose all grandfathering that could help the new owners afford your home. My advice is to keep your flood policy, but bring the limits to the lowest possible if you really don’t want the coverage. You can keep a $1,000 flood policy in place that would only cost you a few hundred dollars, then the new buyers can increase those limits at any time to satisfy their lender.
October 1st Changes made To The NFIP That Affect You!
Cancellation of an NFIP policy when a policyholder has obtained a duplicate policy from sources other than the NFIP.
You will now be able to cancel your NFIP flood policy mid term if you secure private flood insurance for building coverage on the same building that is insured by the flood policy being canceled.
Extended Eligibility for Newly Mapped Rating Procedure
FEMA is extending the time period for properties newly mapped into an SFHA to be rated using the Newly Mapped rating procedure instead of going immediately to full-risk rating. Currently, properties newly mapped into an SFHA are eligible for the Newly Mapped rating procedure if coverage is obtained within 12 months of the map revision date. Effective October 1, 2018, FEMA is expanding eligibility to be either within 12 months of the map revision date or within 45 days of initial lender notification if the notification occurred within 24 months of the map revision date
Roy Wright, head of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), leaves NFIP for IBHS NFIP Administrator Roy Wright left the NFIP in April to become President and Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety IBHS). In Mr. Wright’s tenure at the NFIP, he was able to secure reinsurance for the program which has helped pay claims, move forward administrative changes such as new information and technology and a better customer experience, and begin the integration of the NFIP and private flood insurance. Mr. Wright will be missed but we look forward to working with David Maurstad who will serve as Acting Deputy Associate Administrator.
April 1st, 2019 Changes
Premium Increases On October 1st each year, FEMA releases the following years premium increases (Effective April 1st). Overall, premiums will increase an average of 8.2 percent. The total amount billed the policyholder will increase from $1,040 to $1,115.
SRL Premium FEMA will introduce a Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) Premium for all SRL policies The SRL Premium will be an additional 5 percent for all SRL policies.
2-4 Primary Residence Guidance For policies effective on or after April 1, 2019, FEMA is updating Primary Residence Determination Guidance to allow a 2-4 Family building to be a primary residence for the purposes of assessing the HFIAA Surcharge.
Tim's Flood Savings Tips Your NFIP Policy can help prepare you for a storm
If you do have a flood insurance policy, remember that an NFIP flood policy will cover some costs to prepare for a flood and to move property to a safe location. According to the NFIP Flood Manual (Flood Insurance Manual, Policy Section, Page 9-10), “[The NFIP] will pay up to $1,000 for costs you incur to protect the insured building from a flood or imminent danger of flood, for the following: (a) Your reasonable expenses to buy: (i) Sandbags, including sand to fill them; (ii) Fill for temporary levees; (iii) Pumps; and (iv) Plastic sheeting and lumber used in connection with these items. (b) The value of work, at the Federal minimum wage, that you or a member of your household perform”.
PLEASE NOTE: this coverage for Sandbags, Supplies and Labor only applies if damage to insured property by a flood is imminent and the threat of flood damage is apparent enough to lead someone to anticipate flood damage. The flood must also occur in the area, but does not need to reach the building. The NFIP will also pay to removed items to a safe place. According to the NFIP Flood Manual (Flood Insurance Manual, Policy Section, Page 10) “[The NFIP] will pay up to $1,000 for the reasonable expenses you incur to move insured property to a place other than the described location that contains the property in order to protect it from flood or the imminent danger of flood. Reasonable expenses include the value of work, at the Federal minimum wage, you or a member of your household perform.”
These coverages under the NFIP flood policy don’t have a deductible associated with them, but are considered a claim if filed. But, this can save you money from having a flood by preventing the water from entering your building in the first place.
Note from the Chair
I want to thank each one of you for taking the time to read and support the Massachusetts Coastal Coalition. Over the last two years, we have grown and evolved, while still keeping true by having a local focus. Our new brand allows us to give you a louder voice on issues that affect your daily lives. With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire November 30th, we will be working hard to make sure we get an extension of the program and work towards true reforms. We hope you enjoy our very first newsletter, and remember to reach out to us with any and all flooding needs.
Joe Rossi Chair and Executive Director Massachusetts Coastal Coalition