In March of this year, Congress passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA). This act limited the annual allowable rate increase for any policy at 18%. While still high, the annual rate increase allowed under the Biggert-Waters Act were as high as 25% for many.
However, in a bulletin released by FEMA in October of this year, FEMA has interpreted the HFIAA to allow surcharges and Federal Policy Fees to go above and beyond the annual cap of 18%. Below is a quick reference table of some of the average increases per zone:
|Flood Zone||Annual Premium Increase (Allowable annual increase) plus the Reserve Fund Assessment||Total premium increase—including the Federal Policy Fee (FPF) and the HFIAA surcharge (TOTAL)|
|Newly Mapped into SFHA||decrease 13%||increase 7%|
|Pre-FIRM Primary Residences||14%||15%|
|Pre-FIRM Non-Primary Residences||24%||37%|
|Severe Repetitive Loss Properties||N/A||25%|
These yearly rate increases are drastically higher than either the Marshfield or Scituate Coastal Coalition expected. While the rate tables have also changed for the better for most policies, annual increases at such high numbers are detrimental for all policies and over time negate any benefit certain policies may see to lower rate tables. These increases will be effective for any policy or renewal on or after April 1st 2015.
In 2017, the HFIAA and Biggert-Waters both expire and a new bill will need to be written to replace both. The Marshfield and Scituate Coastal Coalitions, along with other coalitions and leaders across the state, are formulating a plan that will begin the process of networking nationally to help write the next piece of legislation that will keep the NFIP affordable, sustainable and add certainty to the program going forward.
For more info, please email email@example.com
Joe Rossi, Marshfield Citizens Coastal Coalition
Dave Ball, Scituate Coastal Coalition