Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

National Flood Insurance Program: Impact of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

Author(s): Craig Colten, Taylor Marshall, and Ann Hijuelos

Concern over the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) imposed by the Biggert-Waters Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) that likely will impose major increases in insurance premiums has inspired a nationwide effort to assess the impacts in both riparian and coastal flood-prone areas. Although BW-12 has begun to go into effect, there are many uncertainties about how the changes will impact flood insurance policyholders.  Many public officials and citizens are concerned about: how big the premium increase will be, who will be impacted as policy changes unfold, and what areas will be reclassified by revised floodplain designations.  Given the uncertainty facing flood insurance policy holders and both state and local floodplain managers, The Water institute of the Gulf was asked to investigate the implications of the insurance rate changes to coastal and riverside communities.  This report summarizes our research methodology and findings.