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Federal Flood Insurance Program Makes Several Changes to Flood Manual

Jay Barry Harris
Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C. - Philadelphia Office

May 15, 2013

As the result of recent congressional legislation, several changes to the National Flood Insurance Program Flood Insurance Manual became effective on January 1, 2013. The Flood Manual is used primarily by insurance carriers and agents that sell and service federal flood insurance. Several significant changes have been made to the most recent version of the Manual.

A few notable changes include:

A determination of Building Occupancy now includes the definition of a Non-Principal/Non-Primary residence for rating purposes, as a pre-FIRM building that will not be lived in by the insured or the insured’s spouse for a least 80% of the 365 days following the policy effective date. Applications now include this question.

The Manual removed a 2-year limitation on the Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension throughout the manual. PRP rates have increased approximately 10% and ICC coverage is now included on the Non-Residential PRP rates for a charge of $5.00.

Applications have also been changed with regard to Base Flood Elevation. Where Manual referred to un-numbered A Zones, it now states A Zones where BFEs are not available. Federal, state or local government agencies may provide the BFE. When other sources are used, a local community official must agree in writing with the established BFE.

The Manual now mandates that, for an elevated building on a crawlspace with an attached garage without openings, ratings should be assigned using “With Enclosure” rates.

The Manual changed the definition of “Foundation Walls” to include the phrase “regardless of height, that extend above grade.”


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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