New flood maps on the horizon? What you need to know
In North Carolina, the NC Emergency Management in conjunction with FEMA is busy getting the word out about new flood maps that will be implemented for most coastal regions throughout the state, including and especially the Outer Banks. (Other coastal states along the East Coast, like South Carolina, have new flood maps on the horizon as well.)
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (or FIRMs) are produced every 10 years or so, and essentially set the different risk zones for any given area, which in turn, determines a property owner’s flood insurance rate. The FIRMs are updated every 10 years or so, and are created by using historical data from storms and past hurricanes, as well as the topography of a region.
As a result, any property management company that happens to be in a coastal region – or any area where coastal or hazardous flooding is a risk – needs to be on top of FIRM changes to explain the process to their homeowners.
And as any Realtor, insurance agent, or surveyor will attest, there’s a lot to know.
A number of factors go into determining what a flood insurance policy will inevitably be, which starts with the flood zone. Homes that are in high risk areas can often reduce their insurance rates significantly by raising a residence above the base flood elevation (or BFE) which in many coastal regions, refers to homes on pilings.
There’s also a flood insurance cost difference between primary residences and vacation homes. For example, the insurance surcharge that goes to bolster funds for catastrophic events – like 2004’s Hurricane Katrina – is just $25 for primary residences, but it’s $250 for non-primary residences.
So how do you stay informed on any upcoming changes for your region?
A wealth of information can be found through www.floodsmart.gov, which is a resource for regions that are prone to flooding risks. A good starting point for property managers in areas where FIRMs are in the early stages of planning can be found here: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/understanding_flood_maps/map_changes_flood.jsp
In addition, residents in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama can see specific information for their exact property online by using the interactive map tool at http://fris.nc.gov/fris/.
And how do you get the word out to your homeowners?
Owner Web is an exceptional tool for getting out information to all of your owners. With Owner Web, you can provide flood insurance information via a “News” item right on your main dashboard, through multiple PDFs and pamphlets, and / or through an email that’s sent to all of your owners, (or just a section of owners who will be affected by new FIRMs.)
Want to learn how? Ask us!
Feel free to put in a ticket at https://support.lsi.biz/ with your questions on how to get the word out to your owners, and we’ll be happy to guide you on the methods available through LSI Tools that work best for you.