Guest Blogger Frank Dickens, ABR, rCRMS, SRES, SRS is on AAR’s Legislative & Political Affairs Committee

On May 10, David Stearrett, director of the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA) met with the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Insurance Committee at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

OFIA was created in 2014, as part of the Biggert-Waters Act, to advocate for the fair treatment of policyholders under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Stearrett is charged with helping consumers find a “non-bureaucratic” platform to resolve insurance issues.

Such issues may include amending maps where properties are wrongfully included in flood zones and resolving incorrect elevation certificates, both of which can result in higher insurance premiums. In some cases, policies increased from less than $1K to more than $10K.

In Arizona, we have succeeded in fast-tracking flood map amendments in Pinal and Navajo Counties.

This year, the Insurance Committee successfully advocated for passage of House Bill 2901, the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act”, so consumers can shop flood insurance in a competitive market with lower rates. The committee is now working with the Senate to pass H.R. 2901.

After coastal states, Arizona has more flood insurance policies and designated flood zones than any other state in the union.

Arizona REALTORS® are encouraged to contact OFIA when their clients feel that flood-related notices received from insurance companies are incorrect. For general information, rating options (such grandfathering and elevation), or to find out how to obtain a property-loss history report, simply refer to this fact sheet.

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