The highly active hurricane season and the tremendous toll Harvey and Irma took on Texas and Florida underscored the importance of flood insurance for homeowners. And, for mortgage lenders, these natural disasters were sober reminders that flood zones change over time and are not always predictable thereby reinforcing the need to reevaluate current flood zone determinations.
Consider the plight of homeowners in the Houston area. According to the Associated Press, only 20 percent of that city’s homeowners had flood insurance prior to the arrival of Hurricane Harvey.1
Contrast that alarming statistic with the situation in Florida, where property owners buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state: 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets. However, most residents in hazard zones do not have coverage and are badly exposed. The overall flood insurance rate for hazard-zone homes is just 41 percent, according to the New York Post.2
Roy Wright, Director of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, told the Associated Press that throughout the country, only half the 10 million properties requiring flood insurance have it. “Fannie Mae ostensibly requires mortgage lenders to make sure property owners buy this insurance to qualify for federally backed loans, and yet in 59 percent of the cases, that insurance isn’t being paid for,” Wright said. He added that it’s his goal to double the number of policies sold nationally in the near future.3
Protect yourself with up-to-date flood reports
Credit Plus can provide you with timely flood zone determinations and other reports based on the most comprehensive and current FEMA data, including:
- Basic and life-of-loan service
- Loan portfolio review for compliance
- Real-time flood mapping
- High auto-determination rate
- HMDA services
- Nationwide coverage
- Premier selection of flood providers
- Census tract and HMDA data included with life-of-loan flood certificates
Get all the flood zone reporting you need from Credit Plus. Click here to learn more.