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Engaging Stakeholders to Help Communicate Impacts of BW-12
Edie Lohmann, Insurance Specialist, FEMA Region IX

In past issues, we have provided updates on the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) as well as on FEMA’s In November, FEMA Region IX presented four BW-12 briefings to floodplain administrators and other stakeholders in Southern California (Santa Ana, San Diego) and in Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson). The purpose was to update attendees about the latest changes to the flood insurance program implemented by FEMA due to BW-12, specifically related to Sections 100205 and 100207 (“205” and “207”). A copy of the presentation can be found here. Additional BW-12 briefings are planned for early 2014 and have been approved for one hour of CE credit for CFMs in attendance.   

During each session, there was a discussion about engaging stakeholders to help communicate the impacts of BW-12.  Included in that discussion were example actions that different stakeholders can be prepared to offer to help property owners affected by 205 reduce their risk...and reduce their rate. Actions highlighted for two important stakeholders included:
With the implementation of Section 205, more questions are being raised about Elevation Certificates.  To refresh your knowledge, watch the NFIP Trainer’s series of short videos called EC Made EZ. And to refresh yourself about BW-12’s Section 205 and 207, watch the FEMA short series starting with the Overview.
  • Insurance Professionals – for their affected clients:
    • Offer advice on how and where to get an Elevation Certificate (EC) completed.
    • Calculate full-risk premiums using the EC (where needed) to help clients know what the annual full risk premium will be.
    • Suggest ways clients can reduce their risk such as add proper venting for enclosures, change to breakaway walls in Zone V, or elevate above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE); and that clients can learn from local community officials what grants may be available to help with those actions.
    • Provide quotes for deductibles high than the standard deductible to show the discounts available (their lender may need to approve higher amounts)
  • Real Estate Professional – for their clients selling or buying pre-FIRM properties in affected high-risk areas or Zone D areas:
    • If buying, learn what the full-risk premium is before applying for a loan as the cost could stop the deal.
    • If selling, know in advance what the full-risk premium is and be prepared to inform interested buyers before they apply for a loan so the cost does not stop the deal.
    • For purchase or sale of any building (pre- or post-FIRM), determine if the area is being remapped and if so, if the flood risk is changing for that property (e.g., increase in BFE; newly mapped into Zone AE; mapped out of Zone AE into Zone X). The premium could change significantly – higher or lower – after the revised map takes effect.
Local floodplain administrators and other community officials are encouraged to reach out to these and other stakeholders to help educate property owners about BW-12 and arm them with the right information. And remember that FEMA continues to add new resources to its Biggert-Waters page, so visit that site on a regular basis to see what has been added. In addition, stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NFIP Training website to register for insurance-related webinars. If you have insurance-related questions, you can email them to FEMA Region IX’s Insurance Specialist, Edie Lohmann, at





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