Last week FEMA published the NFIP Update and Clarifications final rule in the Federal Register, setting an effective date of October 1, 2021. The NFIP Update and Clarifications final rule:
- Implements through regulation certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA); and
- Organizes and revises the NFIP regulations (including the Standard Flood Insurance Policy forms) to ensure the content is clear and consistent.
The final rule – titled “National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Conforming Changes to Reflect the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), and Additional Clarifications for Plain Language” – is available in the Federal Register.
The NFIP will implement the final rule through updates to the Flood Insurance and Claims manuals and by producing and distributing new SFIP forms. The existing NFIP regulations and SFIP forms will apply until October 1, 2021.
Most of the BW-12 and HFIAA provisions have been implemented through policy and the final rule organizes the provisions in NFIP regulations. However, FEMA needs to make some changes to existing NFIP manuals and plans to announce updates in April 2021 and integrate them into the October 2021 Flood Insurance Manual and October 2021 Claims Manual.
FEMA will update the SFIP forms based on the revised text in the final rule. Write Your Own companies will then develop corresponding versions. NFIP insurers will deliver or make available the new policy forms to policyholders for renewals effective on or after October 1, 2021. FEMA and NFIP insurers will need to make corresponding updates to training.