Monday, November 18, 2013

Customer Alert: Flood Insurance Policy Holders!

Don't Pay Your Renewal Bill Late! It Will Cost You Lots Of Money!!!

All property with a federally insured loan requires flood insurance. If you are late, the new 2012 flood insurance rules will force you to get an elevation certificate ($600-$2,000) and pay 33% higher rates immediately.

The new rules under The Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 will raise everyone's rates for flood insurance, but the increases will be phased in over time for people with existing policies that started before July 6, 2012.

The goal is that everyone will eventually pay the same rates. Here is how it affects you:

1. People who pay 30 days late or cancel are forced to get an elevation certificate and pay the full new rates immediately.

2. If you purchase a new home, Title Change, or switch carriers, you will need an elevation certificate and will pay the full new rate.

3. Owner Occupied Principal Residences (OOPR) insured before July 6, 2012 - No elevation certificate is required and there is only a 5% annual rate increase.

4. Grandfathered OOPRs-these people have special lower rates and will see a 20% annual increase until they get to the full new rate. This will begin in the middle of 2014.

5. Secondary Residences, Rental Properties, and Commercial Buildings will see a 25% annual rate increase until the full new rate is reached. This has already begun for renewal policies on January 1, 2013.

An elevation certificate must be completed by a licensed surveyor. Each home has a different elevation, so it is needed to accurately determine how much to charge to insure your house. If your house is higher elevated, it costs less, and lower, it costs more. The cost for this service can be between $600-$1,200.

Failing to get an elevation certificate means you will get a provisional rate with the highest possible cost. In Palo Alto, this rate is $6,500 vs. $2,000 with an elevation certificate. After one year without an elevation certificate, you will be cancelled and your bank will place forced coverage at an even higher rate.

Call us (650-328-1000) for help with your flood and any other insurance issues.

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