Mar 5, 2009

Natomas Area - Flood Insurance Changes

Hello Neighbors,

With sincere thanks to our friend Chris Altobell (916.214.2126) at Farmer's Insurance, here is an update on Flood Insurance policies for Sacramento's Natomas area.

If you live locally, it's likely you've heard about this issue already. Levee questions. Developer mismanagement vs. local government / engineering mistakes... Who knows. What matters is the outcome.

Flood insurance premiums in Natomas have gone up. Please take a read through the Q & A that Chris prepared below, and pass along to friends and family in Natomas.

Thanks again Chris!

Flood Insurance Changes in Natomas

Following are Frequently Asked Questions (complete with relatively informative answers) regarding recent changes to the Flood Insurance Program for the Natomas area of Sacramento.

What happened?
On January 15, 2008 the Federal Government announced that they would change the flood zone in Natomas from the Preferred X zone to an AE flood hazard zone effective December 7, 2008.

Why did they do that?
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study indicated the levies surrounding the Natomas area do not meet the minimum requirements for a Preferred X flood zone. As such, FEMA changed the flood designation in Natomas to AE (High-Risk.)

What does it mean?
With the new AE designation, all properties with a federally-backed loan will be required to purchase a flood insurance policy.

What is the difference in price?
Under the OLD designation (Zone X), the annual premium for $250,000 of Dwelling coverage and $100,000 of Personal Property coverage was $348.00. Now the cost can be over $1,300.

Can an existing flood policy transfer from the seller to the buyer?
Yes! You’ll just need some cooperation from the seller and their insurance agent. But if it’s a new policy, the new rates apply.

What if the seller didn’t have flood insurance or the home is bank-owned?
While the Preferred rate is not available for new policies, the new policy can be obtained at the “grandfathered” Zone X Standard rate. Those policies can range from $700 to $1,200.

Is the old Preferred rate still available?
Yes, but only for renewals of existing Preferred policies. The policy can be renewed one time before December 7th 2009 at the Preferred rate. Any renewals after December 7th 2009 will be at the higher rate (unless the levees have been repaired by then.)

Can you tell me how I can get the lower rate for my client buying a house in Natomas?
I thought you’d never ask! Here’s an example: Let’s say a homeowner smartly purchased flood insurance before December 7 of 2008 at the Preferred rate of $348. Fast forward to March 2009 and they put their house on the market and one of you clients buys it. During the transaction, the seller transfers the current
flood policy to the buyer. No payment is due at this time since the premium should have been paid for the year. When the policy comes up for renewal in 2009, the new home owner will be able to renew that policy at the Preferred rate ($348/year) for one more year. The policy will be renewed in 2010 at the new rates.

- Jim

No comments: