It’s been a year since congress passed imposing changes in the government flood insurance program and homeowners are finally protesting. Cries of negativity are due to the higher premium costs which are now devaluing home values in and around coastal areas.
It wasn’t specified by the Government just how many people would be confronted by higher premiums but areas such as Staten Island, N.Y., along the battered New Jersey coast and in low-lying areas of Louisiana, Florida and Texas might be dealing with premium increases so high they might be forced from their homes.
Robert Taylor of Des Allemands LA stated in an interview that things were getting, “Insane,” and that the “community has been here since 1923 and has never, ever flooded. Ever.” The new legislation would increase his premiums from $400 dollars a year to over $28,000.
It all started with the new flood map put out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA stipulates that Taylor’s real estate is almost 7 feet below flood stage but what they have failed to realize is that efforts were made in the past to slow down flooding, most notably a levee built 80 years ago. The levee was responsible for aiding Taylor’s family, and the rest of the community, from hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Isaac. It seems unfair that premiums are increasing even though town’s like this have yet to suffer from flooding. Further investigation into the matter is being made however.
While the aim of this new program is to end taxpayer bailouts of the flood insurance program people are being forced from their homes and suffering from severe losses in real estate values. It is unsure yet how people will respond to changes in the insurance landscape but one thing is certain, Almost 250,000 FEMA policy holders will indefinitely be seeing substantial rate increases.