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What Are Flood Insurance Rate Maps and How Do They Affect Your Pocket?

Remember when we were kids and we couldn’t wait to grow up? We’d think about all the fun stuff we’d get to do: Go to bed at any time we wanted, eat ice cream for dinner, and pay for flood insurance.

Wait; what? That last item wasn’t on your list? You don’t say! Well, now that you’re a property owner, you want to make sure you’re not paying a dime over what you should have to pay.

One major factor that will determine the cost of your flood insurance is when your structure was built. This is defined by FEMA as pre-FIRM or post-FIRM (FIRM being an acronym for Flood Insurance Rate Map. You’re welcome). These maps are restructured every decade or so, depending on any environmental changes that may affect an area’s flood risk probabilities. As with any other type of insurance, the higher the risk, the more expensive your premium will be.

Something you want to keep in mind for any potential savings are Grandfathering Rules. Despite FIRM changes, if your home was constructed in compliance with established FEMA rules at the time of construction, you can claim that you are still covered by those rules if doing so will mean having lower insurance premiums. In order for you to be eligible make this claim, you have to make sure you never let your insurance lapse at any time. Otherwise, you’ll be subject to the new flood map rules, which may mean an increase in your flood insurance; and these increases can be substantial. You can also only raise this claim if your property has not been damaged or renovated.

Another important factor is that, whereas before, property owners could benefit from pre-FIRM subsidies, thanks to recent legislation, these subsidies might be eliminated.

Unless you’re a complete and absolute geek with a lot of time in your hands (or if you work in the flood insurance industry), you’re not going to have that much of a great time staying on top of all these updates. Therefore, the most practical thing to do would be to have your property inspected to determine whether you can get rid of having to carry flood insurance in the first place. That’s where National Flood Experts come in. Let us make your life easier, for free. That way, you can focus on that ice cream dinner instead.

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