Flood Insurance

In the life of a 30-year mortgage, there is a 26% chance of flooding. Regardless of your location to flood zones, everyone in West University Place is encouraged to purchase flood insurance. Basic homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. The City participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, which means that federally subsidized flood insurance is available to everyone in the city. Remember there is a 30-day waiting period before the policy becomes effective. Some people purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank or loan company when they obtained a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents; however, policies are also available to cover contents. Remember that a flood insurance policy must be renewed every year. Visit Floodsmart: The Official Site of the National Flood Insurance Program for more details on flood insurance including types of policies, coverage options, and other useful information.

Flood insurance is the best way to stay protected against flooding damage, but there are alternatives - financial assistance options (PDF).

The following FEMA publications may also provide more information:

Community Rating System

Effective October 1, 2020, property owners in the City of West University Place who are in the 100-year flood zone may be eligible for a reduction in flood insurance premiums because of the City's active participation in the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). The City of West University Place recently received a rating of 7. The CRS program is a voluntary, incentive-based community program that recognizes, encourages and rewards local floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum standard of the NFIP. CRS provides a variety of technical resources to help participating communities implement flood risk management programs designed to reduce and avoid flood losses and promote the awareness of flood insurance. For more information on the NFIP's CRS program, please visit National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System

For additional questions regarding the City's CRS, please call 713.662.5830.

Risk Rating 2.0

For the past 50 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has used the same flood risk methodology for calculating insurance premiums.  Introduced as part of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, the previous methodology calculated homeowner’s risk by analyzing what flood zone their home is in using FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

FEMA is updating the Risk Rating system by implementing a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0. This new system will no longer utilize flood zones to determine a home’s flood risk. This change will allow FEMA to provide rates that better reflect a property’s flood risk. 

According to FEMA, the benefits of Risk Rating 2.0 are:

  • More accurate picture of risk at the individual property level
  • Rates that are easier for policyholders and insurance agents to understand
  • Reflection of more types of flood risk than is currently shown
  • Use of up to date actuarial practices to set rates

This change will be implemented in two phases.

Phase 1: 

  • New policies that begin on or after October 1, 2021 will be subject to the new rating methodology. 
  • Existing policy holders eligible for renewal may choose to take advantage of the new rating methodology. 

Phase 2: 

  • Policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022 will be subject to the new rating methodology. 

FEMA will continue to use FIRM for Mandatory Purchase and Floodplain Management. FEMA will comply with existing statutory caps on premium increases, meaning homes won’t experience a year-over-year price hike more than 18%.  If policy holders see a significant rate increase from changes from Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA has programs in place to offer discounted rates.

FEMA will still offer the following discount features: 

  • Discounts for Pre-FIRM subsidized and newly mapped properties 
  • Transferring of discounts to a new owner when assigning a flood insurance policy to a new owner when the property changes ownership. 
  • Discounts to policy holders that live in a community that participates in the Community Rating System. Since the new Risk Rating 2.0 does not use flood zones to determine flood risk the discount will be uniformly applied to all policies in the participating community. 

For more information regarding the new Risk Rating 2.0 system please visit, www.fema.gov/flood-insurance/risk-rating

To view the map of projected premium changes by zip code click HERE 

Please direct all questions regarding your individual flood insurance policy to your insurance company. 

For all other questions please contact Alfonso Acosta, Building Official at 713-662-5830 or by email at aacosta@westutx.gov