The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has “grandfathering” rules to recognize policyholders who built in compliance with the effective flood map at the time the building was constructed or those who already had flood insurance policies in effect with the new maps became effective and have maintained continuous coverage.
These rules allow such policyholders to benefit in the premium rating for their building. However, property owners should always use the new map if it will provide you with a more favorable premium.
Renewal of An Existing Policy
When determining the premium you will pay for flood insurance, an insurance agent will rate your flood insurance policy based on the flood map that is in effect on the date you purchase your policy. Flood Insurance policies may then be renewed and still be rated based on the flood map in effect when the policy was initially rated as long as the flood coverage is continuous and the building has not been altered in a manner that would remove this benefit.
Built in Compliance
The NFIP will honor a Grandfather rule for buildings constructed after the first flood map for the community became effective if:
- The building was built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction; and
- if the building has not been substantially damaged or altered.
Under this Grandfather rule, the property owner must provide proper documentation to the insurance company.
- If you wish to keep the zone designation in effect when the structure was built, you must provide a copy of the flood map effective at the time of construction showing where the structure is located or present a letter from a community official verifying this information.
- In general, for building constructed in high-risk zones after the community’s first flood map was adopted, your rates are based upon the difference between the flood map’s Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and your building’s elevation. If there is a charge in the BFE and keeping the BFE that existed when the structure was first built gives you a better rate, you must provide the agent with an elevation certificate and a copy of the flood map effective at the time of construction. A letter from a community official verifying this information may also acceptable.