Homeowners along the coast of South Carolina will soon see changes in their flood insurance. The good news is that if yours is a home built after 1984, and you are in an “A” or “V” flood zone, you’ll see a typical rate increase, but nothing drastic.
The not-so-good news is that if your near beach home was built before 1984, you are going to see significant changes in your flood insurance rates.
At DeBordieu Colony Real Estate, we wanted to get the scoop from an expert, so we had Rion Moore of Anderson Insurance come talk to us last week in our sales meeting. Here’s what Rion had to say:
Flood insurance and Pre-FIRM construction homes…what does it all mean?
Pre-FIRM stands for Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map.
The flood insurance program (and therefore Flood Insurance Rate Maps) came into effect in Georgetown County in March of 1984. Homes built before 1984 are considered pre-FIRM.
Since the inception of the flood program, pre-FIRM flood insurance rates have been subsidized by the Federal government. Since these homes were built before the rules went into effect, the government wanted to make sure that flood insurance was affordable for these properties since they were not built in compliance with the new flood rules.
The government, by way of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act), is ending subsidies in most cases for pre-FIRM homes.
“Ending subsidies” means that the homeowner will be required to obtain an Elevation Certificate, and the flood insurance will be “true-risk” rated. Many pre-Firm homes have living space below the base flood level or are built entirely under base flood level. In these cases, a “true-risk” rating will yield a significantly higher premium.
Here are the different scenarios and how this will affect pre-FIRM policy holders:
Primary homeowner with a pre-FIRM policy that pre-dates July 6, 2012— No major changes, subsidy will continue. However, will see a 2013 rate increase of about 16%.
Primary homeowner with a pre-FIRM policy purchased after July 6, 2012— Subsidy will end. Will be required to obtain an Elevation Certificate and be true-risk rated.
Secondary homeowner with a pre-FIRM policy that pre-dates July 6, 2012— Subsidy will end. The premium will increase up to 25% annually until true-risk rates are reached.
Secondary homeowner with a pre-FIRM policy purchased after July 6, 2012— Subsidy will end. Will be required to obtain an Elevation Certificate and be true-risk rated.
NOW, if you have a question about any of this, or just need a little clarity, you can give me a call and we’ll walk through it together, OR, you can call Rion Moore directly at 843.240.1604 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anderson Insurance Associates 137-A Professional Lane | Pawleys Island, SC 29585 | www.aiasc.com Phone: 843.213.6002 | Fax: 843.235.3385