Flood Insurance

Last week, the United States Senate voted to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House. The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.

 

As passed, the bill repeals FEMA's authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.

 

To learn more about this bill, click here.

Floodplain Viewer

The Berks County Planning Commission website has been updated with links to the new Floodplain Viewer. This interactive web map depicts the digital floodplain data (FIRM adopted July 3, 2012) provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with Berks County's 2013 aerial imagery and tax parcel data. Their goal is to improve the usability of FEMA flood hazard data and make it easier for stakeholders to research the potential flood risk for a property. However, caution must be exercised in using this tool, as parcel boundaries are not survey grade and were prepared for assessment purposes. While using this resource will not result in an official flood zone determination, it will assist in making an informed decision. Click here to view the Floodplain Viewer: http://gis.co.berks.pa.us/floodviewer/