Int Q&A – Amount 1 – The Regulation states that the amount of flood insurance required “….” What is meant by the “maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of property under the Act”?

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Q:  Amount 1 – The Regulation states that the amount of flood insurance required “must be at least equal to the lesser of the outstanding principal balance of the designated loan or the maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of property under the Act.” What is meant by the “maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of property under the Act”?
 
A:   The maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of property under the Act depends on the value of the secured collateral. First, under the NFIP, there are maximum caps on the amount of insurance available for buildings located in a participating community under the Regular Program. For single-family and two-to-four family dwellings and individually owned condominium units insured under the Dwelling Form policy, the maximum limit is $250,000. For a residential condominium building insured under the Residential Condominium
Building Association Policy (RCBAP) form, the maximum amount of insurance available is $250,000 multiplied by the number of units. For all other buildings insured under the General Property Form, the maximum limit of building coverage available is $500,000. This includes all non-residential buildings, mixed-use condominium buildings not eligible for coverage under the RCBAP, and other residential buildings of five or more families, such as cooperatives or apartment buildings in the non-condominium form of ownership. (In participating communities
that are under the emergency program phase, the maximum limits of insurance are different.) The maximum limit for contents insured under the Dwelling Form and RCBAP is $100,000 ($100,000 total, not per unit) and $500,000 for contents insured under the General Property Form. See NFIP Flood Insurance Manual.
 
In addition to the maximum caps under the NFIP, the Regulation also provides that “flood insurance coverage under the Act is limited to the building or mobile home and any personal property that secures a loan and not the land itself,” which is commonly referred to as the “insurable value” of a structure. The NFIP does not insure land; therefore, land values are not included in the calculation.
 
An NFIP policy will not cover an amount exceeding the “insurable value” of the structure, so the maximum amount of insurance coverage is the applicable limit available under the NFIP or the insurable value, whichever is less. In determining coverage amounts for flood insurance, lenders often follow the same practice used to establish other hazard insurance coverage amounts. However, unlike the insurable valuation used to underwrite most other hazard insurance policies, the insurable value of improved real estate for flood insurance purposes also includes the repair or replacement cost of the foundation and supporting structures. It is very important to calculate the correct insurable value of the property; otherwise, the lender might inadvertently require the borrower to purchase too much or too little flood insurance coverage. For example, if the lender fails to exclude the value of the land when determining the insurable value of the improved real estate, the borrower will be asked to purchase coverage that exceeds the amount the NFIP will pay in the event of a loss. (Please note, however, when taking
a security interest in improved real estate where the value of the land, excluding the value of the improvements, is sufficient collateral for the debt, the lender must nonetheless require flood insurance to cover the value of the structure if it is located in a participating community’s SFHA).
 
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
This Q&A was included in the Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Flood Insurance, which were issued on 05/11/2022.  They were published in the Federal Register on 05/31/2022 and may be found here:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/31/2022-10414/loans-in-areas-having-special-flood-hazards-interagency-questions-and-answers-regarding-flood
 

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