FEMA Announces Higher Than Expected Rate Increases Effective April 1, 2015

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Evan Hecht, CEO of The Flood Insurance Agency, located in Gainesville, FL, responded today to the recently announced FEMA flood insurance rate increases. “Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are going to see their FEMA flood insurance premiums increase by an astonishing 37% this year,” Hecht said.

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Hecht said “the Private Market Flood insurance program is now even more competitive with FEMA. Thousands of homeowners have already made the switch to Private Market Flood, finding that premiums were far lower.

Effective April 1, 2015, the first wave of FEMA rate increases resulting from the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) will be instituted. The HFIAA, which was signed into law on March 21, 2014, called for National Flood Insurance Program to limit rate increases to no more than 18% to any one policy with limited exceptions. However, FEMA has interpreted the HFIAA to allow for the total amount charged to the policyholder to increase an average of 19.8 percent for all 5.5 million FEMA policies and an increase of 37% for hundreds of thousands of certain policies.

The most notable exception is that older non-primary residences and older business properties will continue to see annual increases of up to 25%. However, because of a new mandatory $250 surcharge on all non-primary single family residences and 2 or more unit residences, hundreds of thousands of homeowners will see a premium increase of 37% as of April 1, 2015. This increase is 50% higher than the scheduled increases thought to be provided for in the HFIAA.

This new mandatory surcharge and the Federal Policy fee found on every FEMA flood insurance policy are not considered premiums by FEMA, and thus are not subject to the limitations described in the HFIAA. FEMA has admitted that as a result, the increase in the total amount charged to a policy may exceed 18%, which they will on April 1, 2015.
As a result of these drastic increases in FEMA flood insurance premiums, Hecht said, “The Private Market Flood insurance program administered by The Flood Insurance Agency, is now even more competitive with FEMA. Thousands of homeowners have already made the switch to Private Market Flood, finding that premiums were far lower than those that could be obtained through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. In some instances, Private Market Flood has been able to save their clients thousands of dollars.”

Since the inception of the program last November, Private Market Flood has enjoyed widespread acceptance and has written one new flood policy every 42 minutes. Thus, the program is rapidly approaching $1 Billion in total risk coverage thanks to over 1,000 appointed independent insurance agents nationwide. More information on the Private Market Flood insurance program, including the ability to quote your own premium, testimonials from current clients, insurance agent appointment links, and a copy of the full policy can be found on the company’s website.

ABOUT THE FLOOD INSURANCE AGENCY
The Flood Insurance Agency, located in Gainesville, FL, markets FEMA flood insurance in all 50 States and markets Private Market Flood, a simple alternative to FEMA, in 33 States. Flood insurance policies are marketed direct to consumers utilizing the agency’s two websites and through over 1000 appointed independent insurance agencies. Private Market Flood is currently underwritten by Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and has identical coverage as FEMA’s policy, requires no elevation certificates, is accepted by every major mortgage lender, and utilizes the same claims adjusters as FEMA. Visit http://www.privatemarketflood.com and/or http://www.thefloodinsuranceagency.com for more information.

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Evan Hecht
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