IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON FLOOD INSURANCE RATE CHANGES
In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which requires FEMA to make changes to the NFIP. Most importantly, these changes require the NFIP to raise insurance rates to reflect true flood risk.
Currently, most property owners in Pleasant Hill were grandfathered into a subsidized or discounted rate because they purchased flood insurance prior to the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) update in 2003. New property owners, who were not able to purchase insurance at that time, currently pay a standard rate (which reflects their true flood risk).
How will this affect property owners in Pleasant Hill?
If you have a subsidized (grandfathered) policy on your primary residence in a flood zone, then you can keep the subsidized rate until: 1) the property is sold (non-transferrable); 2) the policy lapses due to lack of payment; 3) you suffer repeated flood losses; 4) you purchase a new policy from another insurance carrier.
If you have a subsidized flood policy on: 1) non-primary residences (rental), 2) have experienced severe or repeated flood losses in the pasts (filed flood claims); or 3) are a business or non-residential/commercial property, then you will see 25% annual increase on your policy until the rate meets the new insurance rate premium (standard rate). In order to determine your new standard rate, you will be required to provide an Elevation Certificate to the insurance company, which they will use to calculate the new standard rate. In order to obtain an Elevation Certificate, you will need to hire a CA licensed surveyor to determine your property’s elevation in relation to the flood elevation. This rate revision program will take effect starting this year (October 1, 2013).
Click here for more information on the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, and how your flood insurance rates may change.
The City’s Floodplain Management Program is responsible for implementing the City’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. In addition, the City participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Community Rating System (CRS) program, which provides for public outreach, higher building standards in the floodplain, and creek and drainage system maintenance, all of which reduce the amount of potential flood damage in the City.
As a result of this participation, property owners benefit with a discount on their flood insurance premiums. Based on the City’s current CRS classification of 8, residents in the flood zone receive a 10% discount on flood zone insurance. Residents not in the flood zone also receive a 5% discount on flood zone insurance.
Visit Floodsmart for information on FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program. This website offers valuable information on what the NFIP is, and how it can help you as a homeowner prevent loss due to flood damage.
In addition to obtaining flood insurance for your private property, property owners can prevent and minimize damage by flood proofing your property. Flood proofing information, along with copies of the FIS and FIRMs for Pleasant Hill, are available through the local library and by request at the City Hall.
For information on FEMA’s or the National Flood Insurance Program, please visit FEMA or Floodsmart.
If you plan to do any improvements in the floodplain area, you may be required to apply for a Floodplain Development Permit.
If you have any questions about the City’s Floodplain Management Program, please contact Engineering staff at (925) 671-5264.
Click here for more information on floodplain services.
For additional information:
- What you need to know about Federal Disaster Assistance and National Flood Insurance
- Myths and Facts About the National Flood Insurance Program
- Your Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover Floods
- Coping with a Flood, Before, During, and After
- Who is at Risk from Flooding?
- Things You Should Know About Flood Insurance
- Flood: Are you Protected from the Next Disaster?
- The Benefits of Flood Insurance versus Disaster Assistance
- Top Ten Facts for Consumers