National Flood Insurance Program Reform

October 22, 2019

Raining On Wooden Bench

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (the “Act”) significantly reforms the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), which previously subsidized flood insurance rates to property owners.  NFIP affords eligible owners lower flood insurance rates that do not reflect the true flood risk. The Act phases-out flood insurance subsidies, thereby increasing flood insurance rates, with an end result of flood insurance rates which accurately reflect flood risks and are fully paid by the property owner.  The reforms to the NFIP and collateral phase-outs have already began for many property classifications.

Additionally, the NFIP permited “grand-fathering”, allowing structures built in compliance with then-existing flood risk standards to continue to receive subsidized rates despite revised increases in flood risk.  These “grand-fathered” rates will also be phased-out as municipalities adopt new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).  Property located within a flood hazard area due to an updated FIRM will have their flood insurance rates increased over a five year period.

Owners may get relief through FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS).  If an owner’s local municipality is enrolled in the CRS, such owner may be entitled to a discount between 5% to 45% on their floor insurance.  CRS participation involves an array of public information and floodplain management activities by the municipality.  The extent of the discount depends on the extent of the municipalities’ participation.

If you have any questions regarding the flood insurance or the implementation of the new reform policies in your municipality, please contact Christian Miller at or (717) 845-1524 ext. 121.


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