The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosted Insurance Outreach Meetings to help answer questions related to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes already have occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some -- but not all -- policyholders over time. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.
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If you don’t have flood insurance the answer is no.
Flood insurance is your chance to recover after a flood. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. And your homeowner’s insurance does not provide coverage from flood damage. But, if you live in Rhode Island, anywhere in Rhode Island, you CAN purchase flood insurance!
Federally backed flood insurance is available to anyone living in a community that is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Currently there are over 19,000 communities nationwide participating in the NFIP, including every single community in the state of Rhode Island.
The Federal Government agrees to back flood insurance in exchange for communities enacting and enforcing floodplain regulations [the minimum standards can be read in Chapter 44 of Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR 59 and 60)]. What does this mean for you? If your structure meets or exceeds these standards your flood insurance premiums will be lower. If your structure does not meet these standards, flood insurance premiums can be very high.
Keep in mind, a third of all flood insurance claims come from low to moderate risk areas (areas that don’t have a mandatory purchase requirement). So, protect your investments and buy flood insurance!