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New Flood Insurance Reforms Lessen Premium Hikes on Mortgages

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The new Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act relieved property owners of costly premium hikes and stabilized housing markets where flood insurance is required for a mortgage, said the National Association of Realtors.

 

Donna Smith, broker-in-charge of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, C. Dan Joyner Realtors in Greenville, South Carolina and NAR Flood Insurance Task Force Chairman said, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency appears determined to get implementation right. In the four months since the law’s enactment, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Director David Miller have engaged Realtors and other stakeholders to ensure a successful rollout of the law’s rate relief and refund provisions for property owners, who are still reeling from the wide swings in insurance costs over the past few years.”

According to NAR, they welcome the new law but added there are additional steps that need to be taken and hoped that the remaining issues will be fully addressed.

 

Within a month of the legislation’s implementation, FEMA issued rate-relief guidelines to insurers so that homebuyers would not have to pay more than current owners would at the time of their next flood insurance policy renewal. The relief also applies to current homeowners who bought a new policy or let one lapse, not just to owners who bought property after the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act went into effect last year.

 

Within two months of implementation, FEMA announced its intention to hold 2013 rates constant through 2015 and in some cases even reduce rates. The agency has also provided guidance to insurers to issue refunds this fall to property owners who paid amounts in excess of 2013 rates.

 

“The progress so far has been encouraging, but there is still more work to be done,” said Smith. “FEMA still needs to set up an Office of the Advocate called for by the Biggert-Waters Act to provide property buyers with the timely help they need to address problems with flood insurance and other rate issues that they face. It is also critical that FEMA and the NFIP ensure the long-term accuracy of flood rates and maps. Homeowners need an independent government advocate who has experience and access to the necessary information to fully investigate and resolve suspect rate quotes.”

 

First time home buyers and realtors can take advantage of video technologies to look and sell properties that are suited for their budget. Virtual tours have made it possible for investors to inspect the properties they want to purchase without having to leave their home or office.  

Realbiz Media Group, Inc.’s (OTCQB: RBIZ)creates virtual tour and video technologies for real estate agents. Nestbuilder.com, which serves home to 1.6 million video listings and virtual tours, is one example of a website that uses Realbiz Media’s virtual tour and video marketing platform. Agents using Nestbuilder.com simply have to record a video or use listing photos to create a virtual tourof a property, upload it to the site, and share it on social media platforms in real time for potential clients to see.

Agents from Keller Williams, Era Real Estate, Century 21, and Prudential Select Properties trust Realbiz Media’s virtual tour platforms.

Over 350,000 agents have signed up for an account on Nestbuilder.com. 24,000 videos are published every day on Nestbuilder Agent and RealBiz Media’s Microvideo App platform, the company said in a statement.

RealBiz Media also runs a digital video network. For more information on the company, please call this toll free number: 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249) or email at support@rbm.zendesk.com.

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

 

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