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Flood insurance Changes Effective April 1, 2016: What You Need to Know

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made important changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These changes are the result of continued implementation of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) and the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12). Highlights of the changes include the following and apply to new insurance policies and renewals effective on or after April 1, 2016:
Beginning April 1, 2016, the total average premium increase for all NFIP policies will be 9%. The actual increase for an individual policy may be higher, based on the specific underwriting criteria.
The largest increases will be felt by Pre-FIRM homeowners (homes built prior to 1974 in the City of Naples and 1979 in Collier County), as well as those properties newly mapped from Zone X to an A Zone.

Buyers looking to obtain coverage on a home that once was in Zone X will no longer be eligible for the Preferred Policy Extension. These homes will be rated using an elevation certificate. This change may amount to a premium increase of hundreds of dollars per year. Affected property owners may want to explore obtaining a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). If the home qualifies, NFIP will place the property back in Zone X.
Owners of older homes (Pre-FIRM) will lose the subsidized rates if they allow their policy to lapse more than 90 days. See your local insurance professional for guidance and advice.  The Brown Realty Group has a list of insurance professionals from which to choose, whether you’re in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero or Fort Myers, FL.

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