FEMA making changes Flood Insurance Program, what Minoters can expect to see

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – FEMA is updating their National Flood Insurance Program rating method and pricing through their new system “Risk Rating 2.0.”

This means policy holders in Ward County may be seeing changing rates coming Oct. 1.

Through new mapping and technology, FEMA’s ‘Risk Rating 2.0′ will be basing rates off of more flood risk variables. This includes distance to water and property characteristics such as elevation and how much it would cost to rebuild.

“The system has to be changed and people who are more at risk, who are building these giant homes on the edges of rivers, they have to be paying more for their flood insurance and that’s what FEMA means when they say it’s going to be a more equitable system,” said Nick VinZant, a senior research analyst with QuoteWizard by LendingTree.

To break it down for Ward County, roughly 1,600 policy holders will see an increase of $10 a month. 388 policy holders will be paying almost $10 less and 75 will be paying more than $20 to $10 less.

FEMA said some of their policy holders have been paying more than they should.

“Policy holders with lower value homes that have been paying more than they should, will no longer bear the cost for the policy holders with higher value homes who have been paying less than they should,” said David Maurstad, a senior executive of the National Flood Insurance Program.

For a majority in the Minot area, rates will be going up roughly $10 per month, adding roughly $120 a year for flood insurance.

“When you consider how much people are paying for flood insurance right now in North Dakota, it’s not just a $10 increase. You’re looking at a 10% to 20% increase over what you’re already paying for flood insurance and flood insurance is capped at 18% a year, but it could be raised at 18% a year every single year,” said VinZant.

FEMA said that it could take five to 10 years to get homes to their full risk rate before increases stop, however, local insurance agent, Miranda Schuler, said she would not be too concerned just yet.

“I have been doing this a long time and I live in the valley. I went through the flood in 2011 and I usually tell my friends and neighbors they should be real concerned when I am and I am not yet,” said Schuler, a Farmers Insurance Agent in Minot.

All new policies beginning on Oct. 1 will see this new rating. Existing policy holders who are eligible for renewal will be able to have the immediate decreases to their policies and all remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022 will see the new rating.

For more information on FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0, follow this link.

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