FEMA head says federal flood insurance rates to increase

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Rates for those who buy flood insurance through the federal government are expected to rise dramatically in the coming years, according to the nation’s top federal disaster official.

Craig Fugate

Craig Fugate

Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told attendees and reporters at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans that homeowners who buy insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can expect premiums that currently cost several hundred dollars to increase to several thousand dollars over the next three to five years, as the program is forced to become more fiscally solvent.

Those who live in high-risk areas and who have not raised the level of their houses can expect the largest rate increases, he said.

Rates for secondary homes will rise this year, with primary home rate increases following later this year or next year.

Fugate said that his agency, which administers NFIP, has enough funds budgeted to handle most catastrophes this year.

Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, said that his agency is working on providing more advance warning of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Hurricane season begins June 1.

 

4 Responses

  1. Catherine Says:

    I’m trying to get the word out nationally about the Flood rates that are going into effect. We have been informed that we are looking at our flood insurance going from $388.00/year to $18,000.00/year. The increase is due to incur in 20% increases over five years. The rates that will be hitting those across the nation are staggering. “Grandfathering” will no longer below allowed for homes that are not pre-FIRM (built before the first flood maps issued), and for those that are pre-FIRM that rate can easily be lost through revonations or the offer of mitigation by government agencies (say they offer 30K to raise your home and it costs 120K, you turn it down, then you loose preFIRM). This link provides a great summary of the changes that are to go into effect as a result of the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which was passed as part of a Transportation bill. People that are located at just 1 foot under the FEMA determined Base Flood Elevation will be looking at a policu of greater than $5,000.00/year.

    http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Floods/NFIP/Pages/FloodPremiumsRisingDramatically.aspx

    Additionally as FEMA remaps areas, homes that have historically found them selves in no flood zones could be re-zoned and captured (FYI Broward county maps are being redone at this time). Which is what is going on with our community in Louisiana (I have family in various areas of Florida).

    http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2013/03/st_charles_residents_disturbed.html

    To add insult to injury, FEMA is conducting modeling on areas that have uncertified Army Corp of Engineers levees/flood control as though these systems don’t exists despite the fact they have not finalized the guidance to conduct such mapping. In February 2011 Mr. Fugate of FEMA told congress in a letter to 27 legislators they would devlope this guidance. They had a public comment period in November 2011 that ended in 2012 and received 1400 points from 160 commentors. To date that guidance has not been finalized and FEMA is ignoring their mandate to our legislators. According to their website those maps should be put on hold, which they are threatening our community that if we don’t certify the maps in entirity they will pull all enrollment for our Parish in the National Flood Program.

    http://www.fema.gov/living-levees-its-shared-responsibility/fema-revising-its-levee-analysis-and-mapping-approach

    I am trying to garner recognition on a national level of the implication the Biggert Waters Act is going to have in resulting in loss of property tax ‘revenue’ from owners foreclosing on homes and communities being abandoned. You see even if a house is paid off, no one will buy it with that premium. Nor would an owner be able to get equity loan without the policy.

    Any help you could provide in getting the word out and getting support for those affected would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Anon Says:

    In response to Catherine’s post, should the federal government continue to subsidize flood insurance in perpetuity?

    We are seeing some serious fights out here in NJ in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Some people believe the rates are going to be outrageous, but these are also the people who believe that this won’t happen again for another hundred years.

    Rate the policies correctly or the federal government will never get out of the hole it is in with the NFIP.

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