Tag Archives: flood insurance

Californians Expect Rising Flood Insurance Costs

For years, the federal government subsidized many flood insurance policies. But premiums haven’t covered payouts, and now, billions of dollars in debt, the National Flood Insurance Program is reducing its assistance. For Allen and thousands of Californians living near the ocean, rivers and creeks, this means their flood insurance costs are on the rise.

Statewide, more than 48,000 home and business owners received subsidies in 2012 for their flood insurance through the federal program. Those policies could rise up to 18 percent each year for homeowners; second homes and businesses will see mandatory increases of 25 percent every year until they drop out of the subsidy program and get a rate based on the actual risk of flooding.

More than half of policyholders in communities including the city of Monterey, San Rafael and Long Beach who had subsidized flood insurance will face higher premiums in coming years. In Capitola, 71 percent of those with flood insurance face higher rates.

Those hikes are “a big concern,” said Allen, noting that the cost of flood insurance affects property values. His family has owned the Venetian for decades and can absorb the increase, but for future buyers, or sellers, the expense may price them out of the market.

“Not the best news just coming out of a multi-year real estate recession,” said Allen.

read more at: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Californians-expect-rising-flood-insurance-costs-5342580.php

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Federal Spending Bill Delays Some Flood Insurance Rate Increases

Homeowners worried that new federal flood maps will send their flood insurance premiums skyrocketing would get some short-term relief under a provision tucked into a massive government-wide funding bill.

But other changes to the federal flood insurance program, including higher premiums on businesses, vacation homes and frequently flooded properties will remain in place, as well as a new rule blocking homeowners from passing insurance subsidies on to the people who buy their homes.

How will this affect the value of your home?  Contact the real estate appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; they have certified FEMA inspectors on staff.

The provision is authored by Louisiana lawmakers and political rivals – Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy – and comes as the Senate is poised to debate much broader relief to homeowners facing higher premiums. Cassidy is running for the GOP nod to take on Landrieu this year.

The move comes as the government is beginning to implement a significant overhaul of the much-criticized program. That overhaul passed in 2012 with sweeping support from both liberals and tea party conservatives but has caused a panic in places like Staten Island, N.Y., and the New Jersey coast and in flood-prone areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, where higher rates threaten to push some people out of their homes.

The practical effect of the Cassidy-Landrieu provision is relatively limited and can be added to the spending bill only because it does not increase the budget deficit. It blocks the Federal Emergency Management Agency from increasing premiums on people whose homes are not currently considered to be in a flood zone but are deemed to be flood prone under new FEMA maps.

FEMA has already agreed to delay the higher premiums in response to criticism that the new flood maps didn’t take into account longstanding locally built levees and other flood mitigation steps and that the premium increases are in many cases unaffordable.

read more at: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/01/16/242979.htm

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Cost of Flood Insurance Rises

MIAMI — Sharp increases in federal flood insurance rates are distressing coastal homeowners from Hawaii to New England and are starting to hurt property values and housing sales in areas just beginning to recover from the recession, according to residents and legislators.

In recent weeks, the hefty flood insurance rate increases brought about by a 2012 law have stoked widespread alarm and uncertainty, prompting rallies, petitions and concern among state governors. Mississippi has sued the federal government to try to block the law. The issue has even garnered the attention of lawmakers, otherwise mired in the acrimonious government shutdown. A bipartisan group of senators and House members from Gulf Coast states are pressing for significant adjustments to the law once the Capitol returns to normal.

Have questions about FEMA?  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; their appraisers are certified FEMA inspectors.

The law, officially known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, is being rolled out in stages, with a major part having gone into effect on Oct 1. It removes subsidies that keep federal flood insurance premiums artificially low for more than a million policy holders around the country — a discount that was applied to properties that existed before the drawing of flood insurance rate maps.

An estimated 20 percent of the property owners with federal flood insurance received these subsidies as the new law went into effect, and their premiums will rise, in some cases precipitously, either now, over the next several years or whenever they sell their properties. The exact amount of the increase depends on the home’s elevation above flood level.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/cost-of-flood-insurance-rises-along-with-worries.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&ref=realestate&adxnnlx=1381844596-C0CoHaVCbZn+kKpdUYcOvQ

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