Covering the Land of Lincoln

Coles, neighboring counties to be surveyed for flood risk analysis

In order to update information about property flood risk, the Federal Emergency Management Administration modified the methodology used in its National Flood Insurance Program evaluations for the first time in 50 years.

Changes in climatic and urban conditions required a rigorous review of the variables taken into account to accurately determine how vulnerable a property is to flood risk. The new costs of insurance policies generated by the national flood insurance system now depend on the results of the latest study, Risk Rating 2.0.

Potential threats have increased for 3.9 million properties out of the 5 million re-diagnosed. Consequently, the cost of insurance premiums was raised, much to the discontent of developers and property owners, especially those in waterfront cities.

The previous methodology tended to overlook the replacement value of any given property, which resulted in inequity for lower-value homes that lay within the same flood plain as higher-value homes. This inequity equated all properties on equal footing for flood risk, with no consideration of the actual value loss for each property, which forced the owners of lower-value homes to purchase insurance packages more costly than was necessary. The new approach now factors in the individual risk for each property or home, which in turn means more valuable—generally waterfront—properties will have their flood insurance premiums rise.

Despite the concern of many high-value homeowners, on a national scale, 86.4% of premiums went up just $10 or less. In 8.6% of cases, the fee increase was somewhere between $10 and $20, while in the remaining 5%, it surpassed the $20 margin. In contrast, the risk rate dropped for 1.2 million properties; as a result, so did the cost of premiums. The revised amount meant a discount of up to $100 for 70.5% of policyholders, while the remaining 29.5% were granted reductions of $50 or more.

Citing the latest data, Stacker dug into how flood insurance premiums will change across every state in the first year of Risk Rating 2.0’s implementation. As of April 2022, all policies must follow the new ratings methodology.

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