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Uninsured flood losses can break the bank. Protect what matters.

Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance

Flood losses are not covered by most insurance policies

Separate flood insurance coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for any building in the STC region—regardless of the flood zone. (This availability is contingent on local enforcement of floodplain development standards.) Flood insurance for buildings and contents can be purchased from private insurance agents and is generally required as a condition of the mortgage for buildings located in the regulated floodplain (1% annual probability/100-year floodplain mapped by FEMA). The probability of at least one severe flood in this high hazard floodplain during the next 25 years is greater than 1 in 5. Many areas in the floodplain can be expected to flood more frequently.

Official website of the National Flood Insurance Program with information about flood risks, buying flood insurance, making insurance claims, etc.
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Flood Insurance Videos

A series of short videos (by Iowa State University, Extension and Outreach) address flood insurance topics, including when flood insurance coverage is required and the process for purchasing flood insurance. NOTE: The factors for determining flood insurance premiums have changed since these videos were developed, but the general information presented is still applicable.
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Q&A about Flood Insurance in New York State

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website. NOTE: Recent changes to the NFIP have eliminated Preferred Risk Policies, but other information on this webpage remains relevant.
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LOW RISK IS NOT THE SAME AS NO RISK. Make informed decisions about whether you need flood insurance to protect your financial investment.

Risk Rating 2.0

A new pricing methodology for flood insurance

FEMA is changing the way that flood insurance premiums are calculated. Instead of relying on flood zones and elevations (from Flood Insurance Rate Maps), premiums are now calculated based on the specific features of an individual property, including distance from water, type of flooding, flood frequency, structure foundation type, first floor height, and the structure’s replacement cost value. Although many of these factors are generated by FEMA’s rating engine, it may be beneficial to obtain an Elevation Certificate to more accurately determine the building’s first floor height.

The Risk Rating 2.0 methodology will be used for all NFIP policies beginning on April 1, 2022. It will result in lower premiums for some existing policies and increases for others. Some price increases will be phased in over several years due to a cap on annual premium increases (18% for most primary residences and 25% for other categories). If the cost of your policy increases, ask your insurance agent about the “full-risk premium” so you can anticipate and prepare for future rate increases.

Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action

Federal Emergency Management Agency
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Risk Rating 2.0 Is Here

NYS Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association newsletter article (2022)
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Interactive Dashboards with Projected Premium Changes

Association of State Floodplain Managers Risk Rating 2.0 Resource Page includes county and zip code level analysis of Year 1 premium changes. Scroll down for additional Risk Rating 2.0 resources.
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Replacement Cost Value: A New Rating Variable for Risk Rating 2.0

Association of State Floodplain Managers fact sheet
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National Flood Insurance Program Risk Rating 2.0: Frequently Asked Questions

Congressional Research Service
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Flood Risk and Insurance Premiums

Lowering the flood risk can sometimes lower the cost of flood insurance

Flood insurance policies are rated based on the flood risk at the building’s location and building characteristics—as well as the type and amount of coverage purchased (building only, contents coverage, deductible, etc.). Because the rating process is complex, there are no simple recommendations that apply in all circumstances. However, it is sometimes possible to make changes to a building that will both mitigate flood risks and lower the cost of flood insurance.

Elevation is the most important rating element, so elevating the first floor above flood levels can reduce the cost of flood insurance, while also protecting it from flood damage. Other opportunities may include elevating utilities or installing flood vents (to reduce pressure on the foundation by allowing water to enter and exit a crawl space or other enclosure). Ask your insurance agent how a proposed mitigation project will change the cost of flood insurance.

Risk Rating 2.0 and Elevation Certificates

Association of State Floodplain Managers fact sheet about documenting building elevations for flood insurance pricing. Use of an Elevation Certificate is optional but may result in a lower premium.
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Cheaper Flood Insurance: 5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Flood Insurance Premium

FEMA brochure. NOTE: Although insurance rating methods have changed since this was developed, these practices may still be beneficial. Consult your insurance agent to assess the impact on your insurance premium.
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Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot Be Elevated

FEMA publication presents strategies for reducing flood risks for existing residential buildings. NOTE: Because the NFIP rating methodology has changed, the premium benefits give for the case studies are no longer accurate. (FEMA P-1037)
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Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage

FEMA webpage about NFIP flood insurance coverage for elevation, demolition, relocation, or dry floodproofing of an insured building that has been substantially damaged by flooding.
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Community Rating System (CRS)

The Community Rating System is a program that enables reduced National Flood Insurance Program premiums within communities that go above and beyond minimum floodplain management requirements. Participating municipalities implement and document various floodplain management, flood mitigation, and outreach activities. Nine STC municipalities currently participate at levels that enable 5% or 10% reductions in base premiums for flood insurance policies:

  • Town of Ashland
  • Town of Big Flats
  • Town of Chemung
  • City of Corning
  • City of Elmira
  • Town of Horseheads
  • Village of Horseheads
  • Town of Southport
  • Village of Wellsburg

Introduction to the Community Rating System

STC presentation summarizing CRS program requirements and credit activities.
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National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System

FEMA’s CRS webpage provides information about the program and a link to the CRS Coordinator’s Manual.
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CRS Resources

CRS Resources website includes forms and reference materials needed to implement a CRS program.
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CRS for Community Resilience

Online tools for CRS elements that strengthen natural ecosystems and reduce vulnerability to flooding, including a Green Guide, Element Profiles of CRS activities, and success stories (Association of State Floodplain Managers).
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