The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a Letter of Final Determination on February 18, 2014 notifying unincorporated Broward County and the 31 municipal governments in Broward County that the new flood maps have been finalized. During the next six months, FEMA will disseminate copies of the finalized flood maps and unincorporated Broward County and the municipal governments must adopt the finalized flood maps.
FEMA has established that the effective date for the new Broward County flood maps will be August 18, 2014. After the effective date, the finalized maps will be used by insurance companies for flood insurance purposes and the updated base flood elevations must be used for all new construction and substantial improvements to existing construction.
The preliminary flood maps, which were issued on September 30, 2011, are available for viewing here. The preliminary flood maps do not reflect any changes made by FEMA during the 90-day appeal process. If you filed an appeal, please contact your municipality regarding the status. This website will be updated as soon as FEMA makes the finalized flood maps available.
Flood Insurance Reform Act
In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act which requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) effective October 1, 2013. These changes may affect your flood insurance premium rates. Key provisions of the legislation requires the NFIP to raise rates to reflect a true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders.
The changes will have the greatest impact on properties located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) that were built prior to the adoption of Broward County’s first FIRM on October 26, 1972. If you have had a flood insurance policy in place prior to that FIRM date, you have been receiving subsidized lower rates.
FEMA is the official source for information to property owners about the Act. More...
Highlights of the Federal Law
Owners of primary residences with subsidized rates will see average increases of 16 to 17 percent per year. However, the subsidized rates will be discontinued if the following occurs:
- You allow your flood insurance policy to lapse;
- You sell your property (new rates will be charged to the next owner if they insure);
- You suffer severe, repeated flood losses, or;
- You purchased a new policy (after July 6, 2012).
Your ability to maintain subsidized rates may change in the future as the implementation of the new law continues. Please check with your insurance agent each year for the latest updates.
Property owners with buildings located within a SFHA that have allowed their flood insurance to lapse will be required to purchase an Elevation Certificate. The Certificate must be signed by a licensed engineer or surveyor, identifying the elevation of your building and may cost $100 to $300 or more. Using the Elevation Certificate as a guide, an insurance agent will calculate the premium at the full-risk rate based on the amount of coverage desired.
Subsidies will no longer be offered for flood insurance policies covering newly purchased properties, lapsed policies, or new policies covering properties for the first time.
Non-Primary Residence or Commercial Property
Flood insurance premium rates will begin to increase by 25 percent each year until the policy premium reflects the full-risk rate for older non-primary residences and business property owners located in a SFHA that were constructed prior to the FIRM date.
What Can I Do to Lower Costs?
- Talk to your insurance agent about your insurance options
- You may need to purchase an Elevation Certificate to determine your correct rate.
- Higher deductibles might lower your premium costs.
- Consider remodeling or rebuilding
- Building or rebuilding higher may lower your risk and reduce premiums.
- Consider adding vents to your foundation or using breakaway walls.