Personal Insurance Blog

Grandfathering Your Flood Insurance Rates


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently has an effort to remap flood hazards across the nation.  The effort is commonly known as Risk MAP, or risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning.  Risk MAP poses some possible changes for property owners, as it is creating a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  A high-risk property on a previous FIRM may be considered of even higher risk on the new map, possibly elevating the flood insurance rates. In addition, a property that did not even appear as high-risk on the old map may be considered high risk by the new standards, which would also raise the cost of coverage on the property.

Luckily, there are some ways to combat this increase if the structure was built after the first flood map was released.  The first way is to simply purchase a flood insurance policy before the new maps are implemented.  If this is not possible, using the Grandfather Rule is a great option.

The Grandfather Rule is applicable if there is proof that a home was built in compliance with the flood map that was effective at the time of construction.  Contact us and we can provide you with this documentation! 

If the structure was not built after the first flood map was released (pre-FIRM), there must be a policy in place before the new map becomes current in order to qualify for the Grandfather Rule. 

Either one of these options will lock in the property in its current flood zone or Base Flood Elevation, keeping its insurance rating the same.

However, in some cases the new FIRM will consider a structure a lower-risk structure than the previous map.  Make sure to check whether or not your rates would go up or down before using the Grandfather Rule!

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