FEMA Announces Release of the Flood Insurance Advocate’s Annual Report

FEMA is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 Annual Report of the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA). This report is being publicly released to further OFIA’s goal of transparency, and is available on OFIA’s webpage and clicking on the Annual Report.

 OFIA identified six primary National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholder and property owner topics in 2016 that present opportunities for ongoing program improvement. They include:  erroneous severe repetitive loss property designations; gaps in flood insurance agent education; the need for consistency across FEMA regions in public mapping outreach; difficulties in accessing Increased Cost of Compliance coverage; difficulties with multiple and conflicting flood zone determinations; and the inability to obtain a refund of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 surcharge when cancelling an NFIP policy.

 The issues identified in this report are based on the observations of OFIA through the hundreds of inquiries submitted to the office this past year. These issues represent areas of concern that have a long-term impact to a broad population of NFIP customers. The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration’s (FIMA) program areas were provided an opportunity to respond to these findings, and the programs’ responses are included with this report.

OFIA is an independent office within FEMA and reports to the FIMA Deputy Associate Administrator. The Office also has direct access to FEMA’s Administrator. OFIA’s mission is to advocate for the fair treatment of policyholders and property owners by providing education and guidance on all aspects of the NFIP, identifying trends affecting the public, and making recommendations for program improvements to FEMA leadership. Policyholders may seek assistance from the OFIA by visiting their webpage and clicking on “Ask the Advocate”.