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Keefe Newsletter

Flood Insurance & NFIP Info

September 2017



Our hearts all went out to the people in Texas who suffered through Hurricane Harvey and the devastating flooding. What is also heartbreaking is that only 20% of those who have lost everything have flood insurance to help them rebuild. FEMA grants will only allow a maximum $35,000. Much of the help will come from SBA loans, which have to be repaid.

Those of you who read this newsletter are most likely aware that standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover damages or losses from flooding. That coverage is provided under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). We are able to provide flood insurance to our customers, BUT there is a 30 day waiting period for coverage to take effect. Considering that flooding is the most common disaster in the U.S.A, affecting every region and state, we urge you to learn more about it here.

Flood insurance up for renewal

Since Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy devastated their regions, flooding continues to be a serious concern across the country. The original NFIP legislation, passed in 1968, made it possible for property owners in participating communities to buy flood insurance if the community adopted floodplain management ordinances and set higher standards for new home construction.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2013 extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and required significant program reform. The law required changes to all major components of the NFIP, including flood insurance rates and flood hazard mapping. Many of the changes were designed to make the NFIP more financially stable.

The program is up for renewal in 2018. Congress will be considering changes that may be needed to keep the program financially sound in light of Hurricane Harvey's astronomical losses. Then there is Hurricane Irma that may impact Florida and the Southeast. Rates may have to rise dramatically to respond to these losses. And Hurricane Season is only half over.


Get NFIP info online

The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated, as are so many in Texas.

Visit for additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about flood insurance. The site also contains a FEMA interactive data visualization tool that shows how many flooding events have occurred in each county of Massachusetts. Then call us for an assessment of your risks and a quote.


If you have any questions about flood insurance, please stop by or call us at 508-528-3310 or toll-free at 888-528-3310. We'd be glad to review your entire coverage situation.

Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc. For over 100 years.. Here for you then, here for you now, here for you in the future.



Bob Keras & Peter Brunelli

Keefe Insurance Agency

Home . Auto . Business . Life

Did You Know?

Why do I need flood insurance if I don't live near the ocean or a river?

Floods can happen anywhere. More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk zone. Storms are not the only cause of flooding. Heavy snow melt, dams breaking, and new development affecting ground water flow all can cause costly flooding damage.

What's meant by "severe repetitive losses?"

This is defined as 4 or more claims, each for more than $5000 and cumulatively more than $20,000 -OR- 2 claims that exceed the value of the property.

Should you ever receive federal disaster relief, you must maintain flood insurance to be considered for future federal disaster aid.

How can someone find out what a property's full risk rate will be?

Of all the factors that determine the full risk rate for a structure, the single most important factor is the structure's elevation in relation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) indicates areas with a 1% or greater chance of annual flooding. For a property in a high risk zone, you will need to know the elevation of the structure relative to the BFE. To determine the premium you will need to obtain an Elevation Certificate from a licensed civil engineer or land surveyor. Then your insurance agent can calculate your premium based on the amount of coverage requested.

What does "full risk rate" mean anyway?

It simply means that the premium will reflect the risk assumed by the program (the expected average claims payment plus all administrative expenses). The premium will also take into account the full range of possible flood losses including catastrophic floods, like those from Hurricane Harvey.