FEMA Risk Rating 2.0

image of flooding

FEMA is changing how it calculates flood insurance premiums

The new insurance rating program Oct. 1, 2021, but some legacy programs will be ending Aug. 31, 2021. People will see rates go down and others will see rates go up depending on how close you are to a flood hazard and how high your ground is, in addition to other factors. 

If your flood insurance is scheduled to be more expensive after Aug. 31, 2021, it is best to purchase a policy NOW so that cost increases can be metered in over years rather than immediately. Talk to your local insurance agent or go to visit FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 website to find out more about the program and how you can save money.


Dennis Dixon

Floodplain Engineer 


[email protected]

Who needs this the most?

Any home that is currently mapped at low risk but will be later mapped at high risk. Buying a Preferred Risk Policy now could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the next five to 10 years. If you live in the Nisqually Watershed, view the map to see if you may be affected by proposed changes.

Where is this likely to happen?

FEMA is finishing up a new flood study of the Nisqually River that is expected to be finalized in early 2023. 

The 1996 flood damaged many homes that were not shown on the FEMA map as at flood risk. This forced a reevaluation of risk the new flood maps show a risk of flooding just beyond the 1996 flood. 

So if your home flooded in 1996, then buy insurance now. Once the new maps go into effect, any house with a federally backed loan will be required to buy flood insurance at the full rate. Buying now could slow that increase.

Example of a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)

Year12345678910Total cost

Potential Savings

Full Risk

























*This in no way constitutes actual rates. Please call your insurance agent for prices. 

New Flood Insurance Timeline

Risk Rating 2.0 will be implemented in October 2021. This will cause a fundamental shift in ratings and cost. It is recommend that those who are not in the floodplain now get flood insurance before maps become effective as their rates will be honored once they are moved into the floodplain, assuming they don’t let their policy lapse.

Beginning Aug. 1, current National Flood Insurance Program policyholders can contact their insurance company or insurance agent to learn more about what Risk Rating 2.0-Equity in Action means to them.


New policies beginning Oct. 1, 2021, will be subject to the new rating methodology. Also beginning Oct. 1, existing policyholders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of immediate decreases in their premiums.


All remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new rating methodology.  

Additional Resources

Find out more about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by watching the following videos.