NFIP premiums like to increase

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Beaufort County property owner and other property owners in coastal North Carolina could see their flood-insurance premiums increase if proposed federal legislation becomes law.

Federal officials have issued an update to help policyholders better understand those potential increases, according to North Carolina Sea Grant’s Spencer Rogers.

“The clarifications do not alter the most significant changes for policyholders with older buildings that had been grandfathered into categories based on previous versions of local flood maps. Buildings that had met standards when constructed but do not comply with the most recent flood maps or construction standards still face substantial increases,” Rogers explained in an email.

Under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, annual premiums for policies previously only slightly out of compliance could see premiums double for a $100,000 structure.

“For higher coverage or farther from compliance, some annual premiums may rise by tens of thousands of dollars annually,” he adds.

Rogers, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal construction and erosion specialist for more than 30 years, reviewed the reforms in the federal program, known as the National Flood Insurance Program, that were signed into law in 2012, along with additional guidance issued to federal officials in late March of this year.

“Some of the cost for flood insurance along the coast is going up on the coast about 18 percent to 20 percent, In our area, it’s only going up maybe 1 percent or 2 percent. Other than that, I don’t know of any other changes in the flood-insurance program,” said John Rodman, chief planner for Washington, in a brief interview Monday. “I know the policies are going up, in general, a lot more along the coast than they are here. We’re actually lucky, considering how some of the policies are going up.”

In 2007-2009, Rogers served on a panel appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to review the status of floodplain mapping across the nation. He also has worked with individual property owners, as well as local, state and federal officials, and the building design, construction and insurance industries to identify flood-resistant construction practices, as well as storm-resistant adaptations to existing structures, in order to mitigate potential damage from flooding, storm surges and other hazards.

“My updated summary is meant to alert NFIP policyholders to plan for future premium changes with their own insurance agent, and to consider mitigation efforts to reduce premiums and flood losses,” Rogers wrote in the email.

Text of the changes in the National Flood Insurance Program is available from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School:

Overall information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Also, information on the March 29, 2013, update is available at:

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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