Homeowner Flood Insurance
Affordability Act (HFIAA) of 2014

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is in the process of implementing Congressionally mandated reforms required by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 that REPEAL AND MODIFY the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12).  This fact sheet provides an overview of the changes to flood insurance rates under the NFIP.  While the new law is implemented, policyholders are encouraged to maintain and keep their current flood insurance policies.  Allowing policies to lapse will leave policy holders unprotected.

  • FEMA Fact Sheet:  How Recent Legislative changes Affect Flood Insurance [PDF]
  • FEMA Memo, October 1, 2014:  Notification of Changes to NFIP effective April 1, 2015 [PDF


In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes already have occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some—but not all—policyholders over time. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (PDF)
  • See below for additional information on BW-12

On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law.

This law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted in 2012. FEMA looks forward to working with Congress, the private Write Your Own Insurance Companies, and other stakeholders to implement these Congressionally-mandated reforms and to working toward our shared goals of helping families maintain affordable flood insurance, ensuring the financial stability of the NFIP and reducing the risks and consequences of flooding nationwide. FEMA will continue to identify and publish special flood hazards and flood risk zones as authorized and required by Congress.

  • See section above for additional information on HFIAA.

TN Communities Affected By BW-12  

The NFIP Biggert Waters Act, 2012 will bring many changes to the FEMA Flood Insurance Program and to property owners in Tennessee. The attached FEMA Brief outlines changes to the flood insurance program. The TN Communities database lists the policies impacted by the act by County and Municipality. These changes to the NFIP were the topic of multiple training sessions at the 2013 Annual Conference. Members may visit the "Presentations" link for access to the Conference presentations.

Also read more here:

  • TN Communities Affected by BW12 [PDF]
  • BW-12 FEMA Memo [PDF]
  • All Communities Affected by BW12 [PDF]

Next Round of NFIP Changes
Begins October 1st

A significant milestone of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) is now upon us.  Beginning today, October 1, 2013, policies newly issued, assigned or reinstated after a lapse on Pre-FIRM properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are subject to full-risk rating requiring an Elevation Certificate. In addition, policies newly issued or assigned on Pre-FIRM properties using the subsidized rate on or after July 6, 2012 (the date BW 12 became law) will face full-risk rating upon renewal on or after October 1. Further, policies that were allowed to lapse after July 6, 2012 and were reinstated after October 4, 2012 will face full-risk rating upon renewal after October 1. 

Existing policies (issued originally prior to July 6, 2012) on Pre-FIRM properties which are primary residences may continue to be renewed using the subsidized rate until the property is sold to a new owner or the policy lapses. It is important, therefore, that agents, companies, lenders, and the policyholders themselves maintain an awareness of the timely renewal of these existing policies to avoid a lapse which may then trigger full-risk rating and the need for an Elevation Certificate.

At this time the NFIP's grandfathering and its extension of eligibility of the Preferred Risk Policy (PRPEE) procedures will continue as usual subsequent to October 1, however, the grandfathering of subsidized rates (Pre-FIRM properties in the SFHA or ZONE D and rated without an Elevation Certificate) will not be allowed to continue upon sale of a property or the lapse and subsequent reinstatement of a subsidized policy. We expect further guidance from FEMA on the possible impact to grandfathering and PRPEE from the future implementation of section 100207 of BW 12. 

There are several resources on BW-12 for floodplain management professionals:

·     FEMA's Flood Insurance Reform website:

·     ASFPM's website for the National Flood Insurance Program :

·     Flood Insurance Resources:

·     NFIP Bulletins:





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