Flood Insurance NFIP v Private

This morning I found a little discussion on the Stop FEMA Now Facebook page about flood insurance with the NFIP v private flood insurance. These are actually comments that were based on one of their posts.

When we get more information regarding either, we will post it here.

Comments below.

Kathie Yates: Lloyds of London writes flood insurance for less than FEMA. I don’t know the details but i have heard it’s an option.

Stop FEMA now: There are caveats even with Private Flood Insuarnce. We will be covering this soon.

Judi Beyda: I asked about Lloyds of London and was told they only write policies for additional coverage over the $275,000 max…not under…is that true?

Gabby Sudano: I heard that if you do put in a claim they can drop you and would be difficult to get flood insurance through FEMA

George Kasimos-stopFemanow: Gabby Sudano Judi Beyda there are many caveats with private flood. Unless you can save thousands, I would stay with NFIP insurance. There is legislation in congress right now to “clarify” rules with private flood.

Judi Beyda: Thanks George!


Submit YOUR Questions for the Mayoral Debate, October 16th! (televised)

Original article HERE

Republican candidate Chuck Brewer and Democrat candidate Joe Hogsett

Republican Chuck Brewer and Democrat Joe Hogsett will meet in November 2015 to determine who will become the next mayor of Indianapolis.

WISH-TV News Director, Elbert Tucker, announced that 24-Hour News 8 will broadcast the city’s only debate between the Indianapolis mayoral candidates. The debate will take place on Friday, October 16th from 6:30-7:00PM in the WISH-TV studios. The two candidates for Mayor of Indianapolis, Republican Chuck Brewer and Democrat Joe Hogsett will participate in this live commercial-free televised event to debate the city’s most important issues.

“We are proud to once again host a mayoral debate and to serve the viewers of Central Indiana,” said Tucker. “Everyone in the WISH-TV viewing area will feel the impact of decisions made by Indianapolis leadership and it is important that they understand our community’s vision for moving forward.”

The debate will be moderated by 24-Hour News 8 political reporter Jim Shella. Likely topics of debate include crime, job creation, and mass transit in the Circle City. Viewers are invited to submit questions for the debate via the WISH-TV Facebook page or by tweeting using the hashtag #IndyDebate.

“We’re proud to be hosting the only formal televised debate in the race for mayor,” said Shella. “This is a WISH-TV tradition we’re pleased to continue.”

Homeowner and Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 AKA Grimm-Waters 2013: Summary of provisions that will most affect property owners

Original article can be found HERE

The Grimm-Waters Act, or Homeowner and Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, was passed in March 2014 in response to complaints that the Biggert-Waters Act was unfair and causing excessive flood insurance rate increases for some property owners. In response to political pressure, Congress succeeded in passing Grimm-Waters, which reformed parts of BW-12, repealed some provisions, and added new provisions. This summary was put together in March 2014 based on several summaries and some reading of the bill text. It is possible that some of the information below will be slightly altered as more in-depth, accurate information becomes available

Overall Comments

  • For second homes and businesses, Grimm-Waters is worse than BW-12 because those policyholders will continue to experience a 25% annual increase and are charged an additional $250 annual surcharge
  • Although the map trigger for rate increases has been removed, this reform causes subsidized primary homes to come up to full risk rates more consistently (and in many cases sooner) than under BW-12 (about a 15% annual increase for all pre-FIRM primary homes). If a subsidized primary home was not in an area where maps were updated, it wouldn’t experience rate increases. Now all primary homes will experience rate increases immediately, but they will be on a more gradual (and more bearable) timescale regardless of map updates. Further, map updates are less likely to be inhibited by politics.
  • A property that previously would have been grandfathered (mapped into a higher risk zone but charged a rate based on the zone it was in when built) will now experience a 15% average annual rate increase when mapped into a higher risk zone until actuarial rates are reached – this will keep future properties from becoming grandfathered, ultimately leaving only previously grandfathered properties (pre-2014) at below-full-risk rates
  • Voluntary policyholders are charged higher rates to allow for prolonged subsidies, $25 for primary homes and $250 for secondary homes and businesses – further exacerbates unfair charges on some policyholders to pay for subsidized policyholders
  • All policyholders must be alerted to their full actuarial rate – this will allow them to understand their risk and know what to expect in terms of rate increases; it also means that all SFHA policyholders will have to obtain elevation certificates in order for FEMA to determine their full rates
  • The provisions triggering a complete elimination of subsidies upon the sale of a property or purchase of a new property has been repealed. If a subsidized property is purchased, the new property owner will experience the same 15% annual increase that the previous owner will now begin to experience under Grimm-Waters

Changed Biggert-Waters Provisions

  • Property sale/new or lapsed policy trigger removed: policyholders will no longer immediately be charged full actuarial rates for previously subsidized properties when a new property or policy is purchased, or after a policy has lapsed
  • ALL subsidized properties (pre-FIRM in the Special Flood Hazard Area) are put on a glide path toward actuarial rates. The increase is set at an average of 15% overall. The subsidy elimination portion of the rate increase cannot be less than 5%, and the overall rate increase (which includes the 10-15% assessment for the Reserve Fund and normal annual rate increases) must be capped at an average of 15% (reduced from 20% in BW-12), not to exceed 18% for an individual property EXCEPT for second homes, businesses, severe repetitive loss properties, properties with total payments exceeding the value of the structure, and properties with substantial damage/improvements that retain a 25% annual increase. These increases will be calculated based on rate class.
  • Section 100207, which allowed for map (FIRM) updates to trigger rate increases on primary residences, has been repealed
  • If a property is mapped into the Special Flood Hazard Area, for the first year it will be charged as a Preferred Risk Policy and then will have rates increased an average of 15% until actuarial rates are reached – this will prevent future grandfathering
  • The “substantial improvement” threshold is changed back to 50% from 30% (where BW-12 put it)
  • Appropriates $2 million for affordability study, expands scope of study and requires an “affordability framework, completion date changed to two years after the passage of this Act
  • Removes some regulations from private flood insurance and modifies states’ authority to regulate

Biggert-Waters Provisions Still in Place (not an exhaustive list)

  • Those properties previously affected by BW-12 Section 100205 (second homes, businesses, severe repetitive loss, substantial damage/improvements) retain a 25% annual increase
  • Reinsurance may be purchased by the NFIP
  • A reserve fund will be created for the NFIP with a 10-15% assessment on all policies
  • Sea level rise may be included in future FIRMs (as determined by the Technical Mapping Advisory Council)
  • The Technical Mapping Advisory Council is created, which is responsible for recommending how to improve the methodology, accuracy, ease of use, and distribution of FIRMs
  • Any policyholder refusing mitigation assistance will move to full actuarial rates

New Provisions

  • An annual surcharge will be assessed on all properties: $25 for primary residences, $250 for secondary residences and business

o   This means that voluntary policyholders are now being charged even more to help fund subsidies.

o   These fees go into the Reserve Fund, which will be tapped before the NFIP seeks to borrow from the Treasury

o   Seems to end when all subsidies have been removed

  • Residential policyholders may opt for a $10,000 deductible to lower annual rates
  • Any policyholder that in 2013 paid higher rates based on BW-12 will be refunded the excess premium paid based on the new rate structure (most likely to average about 10% of the increased premium cost – if the prior premium was $400, and in 2013 the policyholder paid $500 [25% increase from BW-12], the policyholder will be refunded about $40)
  • Property owners cannot be required to carry flood insurance (by the mandatory purchase requirement) if only a detached accessory structure (e.g., a shed) is located in the Special Flood Hazard Area and the primary structure is located outside of this high-risk flood zone
  • FEMA is directed to consider mitigation activities (e.g. land use rules and flood-proofing) when setting premiums – but how this will be implemented is unclear
  • FEMA must certify in writing to Congress that the mapping methods used will result in technically credible flood hazard data (not sure what the background is on this)
  • FEMA must alert property owners of alternative methods to flood mitigation aside from elevation (for instances when elevating may be impossible – e.g. townhouse)
  • FEMA must alert all policyholders to their actuarial rates, regardless of whether they are paying them already – this ensures policyholders understand their risk; it also means that all SFHA policyholders will need to obtain elevation certificates in order for FEMA to determine their risk

City County Council Candidates respond

Last night there was another forum for District 2 candidates. I was unable to make it, however based on the video that was taken by another Warfleigh resident in attendance, I have typed the answer as best I could by Sam Goldstein in its entirety and the beginning of Kip Tews response. I would strongly encourage you to watch the video so you can hear for yourselves how each candidate will support Warfleigh or is even aware of the Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction project and how it affects those of us in Warfleigh. The video currently is posted on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/savewarfleigh) as well as Barbara Moser’s Facebook page. Hopefully later today it will also be uploaded onto our website and you will be able to view it here as well,

Tom Healy, moderator, introduces the question What type of support will give to the initiative to complete the levee in an expeditious way and is also cost effective and protects the maximum amount of houses?” Tom then attempts to clarify the issue for Sam Goldstein when Sam asks if the issue is about “a 30 foot wall that (unclear) museum?”

Response by Sam Goldstein: I don’t know if I am going to take three minutes on this but I think the idea of that unsightly wall going down through that beautiful area where we ride our bikes on the bike path through, down toward the museum and stuff um I would think that the army corps of engineers could come up with a better way of doing this or a better place to put this thing (the moderator, Tom Healy, then makes a joke about New Orleans and there is some discussion between Sam and Tom) and it seems to me that the Army Corp of Engineers didn’t do a very good job in New Orleans so um, I would be conscious about anything that they did in Broad Ripple and Warfleigh and Rocky Ripple. So, uh uh, the area has not flooded I’ve lived in this City for I hate to say it for 62 years that area has never flooded and I don’t know that it really is in a flood plain with the way um surface water routing has changed with all the paving we’ve done over the past 50 years and I think that more and more serious studies by perhaps somebody other than the army corps of engineers ought to be done before um we build something like that.

Response by Kip Tew: I have put my name on and am sponsoring the next phase of the levee project going down through the Rivi (directly talks to Sam about the Warfleigh neighborhood)… the rules as they exist now for the citizens of Warfleigh um require that if they don’t want to have incredibly exorbitant flood insurance that the levee needs to be finished. … so the next phase the will start just North of the Rive property and go down to the canal point I have sponsored the resolution to get that thing moving because I think it is critically important to not delay … HEAR THE FULL RESPONSES HERE

Another Great Comment

I posted today on our Save Warfleigh Facebook page what wonderful and valid comments come in on our petition. I wish that I could thank everyone individually for their support in signing and thoughtful comments.

Another great comment today and something to keep in mind this November!!

“We elect our public officials with a mandate to govern in our best interests. Warfleigh residents’ best interests are NOT being met. We will be keeping that in mind during the next election cycle!”

Citizens Energy Group Explains Levee Floodgate Concerns


Susan Brooks, through Karen Glaser, Deputy Chief of Staff, helped us obtain from Citizens Energy Group clarification of their concerns regarding flood gates that would cross the canal. I’ve pasted the information below:

Citizens Energy Group (CEG) strongly supports the city’s efforts on the North Flood Damage Reduction Project and the opportunity it is providing to examine the option of protecting the CEG central canal. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) has stated they do not have a well-developed approach on how to address CEG’s water supply canal, as it is a very unique infrastructure element. As such, the USACE appears to have made assumptions of no impact, which do not match the real technical and operational concerns of CEG, as the owner and operator of the canal. The following are summary points of how the flood gate would impact the canal’s water supply and fire protection of up to 60% of the Citizens Water service area.

1) The operation of a floodgate across the canal causes several operational issues which lead to the disruption of source water to the largest CEG water treatment plant, the White River Treatment Plant (WRTP) which produces 68 million gallons (MG) of the 130 MG of the average daily production. It also places the canal at additional risk to damage from the flooding event over existing conditions.

2) The water supply to the WRTP is by gravity flow which is controlled by the Broad Ripple gate 6.5 miles upstream of the WRTP. The water takes about 9 hours to reach the WRTP. Placing the proposed flood control gate 2.75 miles downstream from the Broad Ripple gate requires the Broad Ripple gate to be operated as a flood control gate as well to avoid overflowing the canal banks within the floodwall line of protection. It would be four (4) hours after the closure of the Broad Ripple Gate before the flood wall gate could be closed. In practice the actual time would be greater because the decision would have to be based on river elevation predictions, and the time to physically close the gates. This delay guarantees a flow disruption to the plant when the gate is closed.

3) The Corps asserts during a flood event the canal will receive floodwater to replace the loss of normal flow. The WRTP would be completely out of source water 3 to 5 hours after the flood gate is closed. The timescale of predicting when the canal would be overtopped would be within 12 hours; much longer than what it takes to affect the WRTP. So even if the canal is overtopped there is still a time period before the flood event where the WRTP would not be producing water. If the canal is not overtopped during an event then the time period the WRTP is out of water would be the entire time the gate is down plus the time it would take to refill the canal after the gate is opened.

4) In the condition when the canal is overtopped it would resupply the plant with floodwater for a period of time. This water presents a set of concerns from a public health standpoint due to potential contamination but it could be used in fire protection.

5) The overtopping event with lowered water levels in the canal will result in more damage to the bank than existing conditions would. Erosion typically occurs down to the water line of the receiving body if not lower until the water surface equalizes on each side of the obstruction. For the canal this equalization will take hours to develop because of the canals capacity to convey water away.

6) When the canal is overtopped CEG will be faced with a choice to risk further damage by keeping water flowing to the canal once the Corps would re-open the gate or to wait until the bank is inspected for damage. Due to the expected additional damage caused by the lowered water level CEG will have to make the safe assumption and disrupt the water flow until damage can be assessed.

In summary operating a flood control gate structure in the canal will result in a disruption to the water supply to the WRTP simply because of the time involved in stopping and restarting the flow to the WRTP. The overtopping of the canal is made worse by the gate structure because of the decrease in water depth prior to the overtopping of the canal. It is expected the canal bank will be eroded to such an extent it will no longer be able to convey water after the flood is over resulting in a loss of water service. CEG would then have to go in and reconstruct the areas damaged by the flooding before water service could be restored. The time of repair would be significant; it would be measured in weeks of outage.

Jim Polito

Question Regarding the Save Warfleigh Petition

Since this question has been asked more than once, I thought it deserved a quick note.

Why did we house our petition on the Moveon.org site?

We really have no good answer other than it was free.  We were moving fast, trying to get as much information up as possible with no money and no volunteers to do the  work.  There is NO political agenda to our petition to Save Warfleigh.

Since then we have added the very same petition on another website, change.org.  You can sign either one, but not both.  Either is fine.  You can link directly to the petition on change.org site by clicking HERE

Thanks for your support for Save Warfleigh, please pass it on and share this petition!