New Rating Will Bring Flood Insurance Savings to Ocean City Homeowners

Ocean City recently announced a new rating in the National Flood Insurance Program that will bring savings to any NFIP policy holder in Ocean City.

As a “Class 5” participant in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS) program, which rewards flood mitigation and awareness activities, Ocean City now is able to offer its residents a 25 percent discount on their premiums overall.

Ocean City had been rated “Class 6” with a 20 percent discount.

With more than 16,800 policies in force and a combined collection of more than $14.5 million in total premiums, the additional discount will translates into more than $725,000 in combined savings for homeowners.

Contributing factors in its Class 5 rating featured several new categories of point-generating activities, including “Flood Protection Assistance,” which rewards municipalities for providing citizens with direction on how to obtain financial assistance for flood mitigation projects. Ocean City earned points every time a home that has flooded repetitively was replaced or elevated above BFE.

Ocean City earned the most points for “Outreach Projects,” including the development of a “Program for Public Information” (PPI) initiative.

As Ocean City fulfills various CRS requirements, it can request a review at any time with a CRS specialist who can, in turn, order a change in Ocean City’s class rating. Those changes are processed twice yearly — in May and October. In this case, homeowners will see savings after May 1.

Flood insurance premiums have been a hot topic in Ocean City since a reform act was passed to make the federally subsidized NFIP program self-sufficient. The reform dramatically increases premiums, particularly for properties built below a “base flood elevation.” (Related article.)

Read more here.

Flooding causes destruction in North and South Carolina

Residents across the Carolinas have experienced catastrophic flooding due to excessive rainfall over the past few days. 16 inches of rain fell in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday alone, and multiple other places around the area experienced well over 20 inches of precipitation within the span of a few days. These heavy rains have severely damaged and destroyed dams, homes, businesses, roads, and have also taken lives. The National Guard was deployed to help in parts of South Carolina after the President declared a federal state of emergency on October 3rd. 

To make matters even worse, only about 10 percent of South Carolina homeowners have flood insurance, so many losses from this disastrous flooding will be uninsured. Flood and wind damage are often excluded from Homeowners policies, which many do not realize. 

The Insurance Information Institute says that as of July 31, 2015, there were 199,540 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies written in South Carolina totaling $133.4 million and covering $50.8 billion in property and contents. NFIP policies provide up to $250,000 in coverage for a residential structure and $100,000 for personal contents. Businesses have slightly higher limits with $500,000 for the structure and $500,000 for contents.

For pictures and more information click here.

Top 10 states for National Flood Insurance Program payouts in 2014

In 2014, major flooding resulted in more than $351 million in claim payouts through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 

Floods can have devastating effects on communities, homes and families. In 2014, major flooding resulted in more than $351 million in claim payouts through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The average 2014 NFIP claim was $29,033 according to Insurance Information Insitute (I.I.I.) data gathered from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The NFIP was created by Congress in 1968 in response to the rising cost of taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.

The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and up to $100,000 for personal possessions.  NFIP earned premiums rose slightly to $3.56 billion in 2014 from $3.51 billion in 2013.

Using data from DHS and FEMA, I.I.I. found the following 10 U.S. states had the highest total amount of NFIP claim payouts from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014:

10 US States with highest total NFIP claims in 2014


NASA develops online tool to predict floods

What does this mean for the future?

If you’ve ever been a victim of flooding after a serious storm or horrified watching video of people, homes and property being swept away, you’ll be pleased to learn that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed a new computer tool known as the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS), which maps flood conditions worldwide. Users anywhere in the world can access the system online to determine when flood waters might impact their communities.

“On our global interactive map, you can zoom into a location of interest to see whether the water is at flood stage, receding, or rising,” explains the University of Maryland’s Robert Adler, who developed the system with colleague Huan Wu. “You can also look around to see whether there is a rain event upstream, whether the rain is over, and how the water is moving downstream.”

GFMS works 24/7, even when there is cloud cover or other interference. "At times, our system might be the only way people can get information," says Adler.

Click here to read the full article and watch the video on how the GFMS works!