Life in the new flood plain: Flood insurance costs changing across Western Washington

From Whatcom to Lewis Counties, from the coast to the Cascades, thousands of home-owners who pay for federal flood insurance are starting to seeing their monthly rates change.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) started rolling out the adjustments last October, in what it’s calling Risk Rating 2.0. According to the Association of State Floodplain Managers, "the new methodology incorporates more flood risk data variables to more accurately reflect a property’s individual flood risk." The changes will affect monthly bills for both residential and commercial properties.

The first bills under the new system started going out April 1st. Some owners will actually see their rates come down – in the Pacific Northwest, about 30% of the National Flood Insurance Program single-family home policies could be decreased. But better than 60% of home-owners in our region may end up shouldering a larger burden – it just depends on your specific location.

Clicking here will allow you to see the potential impact on home-owners by ZIP code – this link shows all policies, commercial and residential.

These maps were put together by the ASFP in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts. They were designed to make it easier to understand the FEMA data, at a glance. For example, you can use the tabs at the base of the maps to select between potential policy decreases, and areas that might be getting a bigger bill.

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