Know Your Flood Risk: Insurance Agents

Risk of Flooding
Due to the more advanced flood models available, we are able to more accurately map the areas of the community that are at a high risk of flooding. This means that despite what previous flood maps have shown, your clients' properties may now be at a high risk of flooding. Flooding is the most costly and repetitive natural disaster affecting the United States.
Understanding Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is determined by what flood zone a particular property is located in, and the difference between the lowest enclosed floor of the structure  (i.e., the top of the basement floor) and the Base Flood Elevation, which is the elevation of the 1% Annual Chance Flood. Flood insurance is required for properties located in Zone A, AE or AH as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

The lower the lowest enclosed floor is compared to the Base Flood Elevation (i.e., -2 feet), the more expensive flood insurance will be.

The National Flood Insurance Program's "Grandfather" rules could apply to some properties in Manhattan. FEMA has provided a fact sheet regarding the "Grandfather" rules.

Manhattan is a Class 8 community with FEMA's Community Rating System because the City has adopted more stringent flood mitigation measures. This rating means that Manhattan residents and business owners in high-risk flood zones benefit from a 10-percent discount on their flood insurance policies each year. The Class 8 CRS rating serves the average property owner approximately $73 per flood insurance policy each year and saves policyholders within the community more than $26,000 in insurance premiums each year.

National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by FEMA. The NFIP enables property owners and residents of Manhattan to purchase insurance to protect against losses from flooding. A typical home insurance policy does not cover losses from a flood. Only flood insurance will cover these losses to the content and a structure.

NFIP also establishes the framework and minimum requirements for the City's floodplain management ordinance, which includes the Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Flood insurance for a structure and its contents is available to all residents, business owners and property owners of a community participating in the NFIP, regardless of if you are in an identified flood-prone area or not.

Recently, the federal government enacted changes to the National Flood Insurance Program through the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that was signed into law on March 21, 2014. FEMA has created a fact sheet to summarize the act.

Additional Resources