Bipartisan Deal Reached to Delay Flood Insurance Premium Hikes: Waters

October 28, 2013

  • October 28, 2013 at 9:50 am
    C Frank says:
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    Once again the government turns away from rate sufficiency and dumps the burden of insuring/replacing flood damaged homes on the taxpayer.

    • October 28, 2013 at 9:59 am
      jw says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      My thoughts exactly.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm
      Angel says:
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      What you should consider a burden is the homeowners who FEMA has helped, that have never paid into FEMA. In Florida, we have paid $4.00 for every dollar that we have used. How much did the people in Colorado pay into FEMA…most paid zero…yet they are getting assistance. I have lived in flood zone in Florida for 25 years and have never collected a dime, never needed to. Yet my insurance would be 45K under this new policy. How saleable do you think a property is when a buyer is looking at 10K+ for flood insurance a year, and for only $250K worth of coverage???
      We help people who have lost homes due to mud slides, tornadoes, forest fires, and hurricanes in areas where you would never have expected to have a hurricane…but FEMA stepped in and helped.
      How bout this…
      Everyone pays something into a “National Disaster Fund” which would cover any act of nature, perhaps people in flood zones pay a little more, than it is not just a few who are funding the entire FEMA program.
      It’s like auto insurance…if you have collision and you get into an accident, the insurance company pays to fix your car, if you don’t have collision you pay for it out of your pocket.
      Many people have used FEMA dollars and never paid into it…this is not equitable for those that do pay into it.
      FEMA in 25B in debt, not because of flood areas that you expect to have issues…it’s because we have had disasters in other areas that have paid no monies into the kitty.

      • October 31, 2013 at 11:06 am
        UW says:
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        Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only catastrophe not covered by a standard homeowners policy is the flood/mudslide correct? FEMA is in debt because of uninsured people or because the rates are not adequate. This concept is the same bs that Obamacare is.

        • October 31, 2013 at 11:38 am
          Martha Vasquez says:
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          Wind is also not covered. We have to have flood and wind coverage. FEMA states that storm surge is a flood but water getting into your home because wind blew an opening is not covered by flood insurance.

        • November 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm
          Blondie2 says:
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          Earthquake

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:43 am
    Linda says:
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    Anyone that suffers the ravages of a flood should be restricted to “one bite of the apple”. If they then choose to rebuild and stay where they are, it should no longer be the responsibility of the government (the taxpayer) to bail them out. And they should be prepared to higher premiums or take their chances. The same should apply to tidal zones prone to storm surge. If you can afford that beach house, you can afford to properly insure it at higher prices without looking to the government for help. This may sound cruel, but it’s about time that people started accepting the responsibility of their own choices.

    • October 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm
      Gregory Wilson says:
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      Don’t be too quick to judge beach houses as especially expensive. I agree with you about the bite of the apple, if it means rebuilding to contemporary standards, but my 1948 bungalow on the beach is hardly what you would call a rich person’s home (nor have we filed a claim in over 25 years). The flood insurance rate hikes we were hearing of would spell foreclosure for most of us. Something like $18,000 a year for a house not worth $180K is crazy. Lastly, you might be surprised how many flood-prone homes are nowhere near the beach. Rivers and streams flood too, you know. Oh, and if Florida pulls out of the National Flood Insurance Program, just watch what happens to everyone else’s rates!

      • October 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm
        Angel says:
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        You are exactly right. We have paid $4.00 for every dollar that we have used.

    • October 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm
      Rick T says:
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      The beach house are already paying higher prices. I own a coastal home in TX and a inland home. The rate for flood insurance on the coastal home is 20 time higher than the rate on my inland home. Oh yeah, my coastal home has NEVER had a flood claim in 40 years.

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:47 am
    Bill Price says:
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    FLOOD INSURANCE SCAMS ?
    IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT ” AFFORDABILITY.

    Most everyone agrees that Flood Insurance should be actuarial;
    however:
    - Increased Premiums are paying for re-building Un-insured, Non Paying property ( in New Orleans and New Jersey)
    - Surplus Premiums were sent to the US General Fund every year, rather than to build reserves. (There is no accounting of this .)
    - Most states has been positive EVERY year, but NO Reserves were built .
    - Maybe Insurance Management Cos. kept large percentage of premiums paid, with reduced Premiums going to the Flood Program .
    (Based on approximate Total Premiums Paid, and Premiums received by the NFIP. ( This needs to be investigated. )
    - The Congressional Budget Office said it was impossible to tell whether or not the Flood Insurance Program was actuarial or not,

    nonetheless ; the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Foundation and other environmental organizations advised Congress to over double flood insurance rates and to impose Sea Level Rise Planning Policies in the National Flood Insurance Program.
    IT can’t be actuarial, if the NFIP has no limits on rebuilding uninsured property.

    Bill Price US LandAlliance.US

    • October 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm
      Martha Vasquez says:
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      I was wondering how many homes in New Orleans and the Eastern seaboard have been rebuilt that were not insured with FEMA. I agree, properties which flood regularly should not be rebuilt. I live in a Gulf front condo in FL.

      Pinellas County has preserved a lot of the old beach cottages and businesses which do not meet current FEMA standards. This means we are the #1 area affected by the Act. I would like to find out if we are the #1 area for flood insurance payments to policy holders.

      You did not need to be a millionaire to live on the beach. You will now as the older homes are destroyed and McMansions built. Wonder what this will do to public access to the beach.

    • October 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm
      Kenneth says:
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      Bill is right – Floridians have paid over $16-billion in claims since NFIP began, but have only received $4-billion in pay outs. Yet we’re being asked to cover the expense of subsidizing recovery for areas that were not required to carry flood insurance. Also, well over half of all NFIP debt is tied to Katrina. And most of that damage, according to the courts, was caused by the Army Corps of Engineers’ shoddy construction of the levies in New Orleans. That was a failure by the US government, and thus that debt should fall on all tax payers, not just those with flood policies.

    • October 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm
      Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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      I’ll say again……….. I have no problem with all together eliminating a corrupt program operating at a $26 billion deficit. The NFIP uses over charging, self serving contractors that don’t care about the program as long as they can figure out a way to manipulate the rules and make astronomical profits. An internal investigation of the NFIP would probably answer the question of why they continue to approve repetitive loss condominium buildings for Letters of Map Revision. I bet the answer is as simple as MANIPULATION of NFIP RULES and INTERNAL CORRUPTION.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:11 am
    Enlightened Lemming says:
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    At least the increased rates reflect the increased risk and actual losses. The real bandits are the governmental taxing authorities who sieze a windfall profit just bacause a $100,000 house sits on a $500,000+ piece of sand on the wet side of the street. Obviously, “fairness” is based on whose Ox has been gored!

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:26 am
    Baxtor says:
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    Now we all need to call our legislators and tell them our homeowners and car insurance are going up and we want them to pay the increase for the next four years. It’s only fair, right?

    • October 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm
      Dave says:
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      Baxtor, I think a number of people are missing your sarcasm.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:33 am
    Michelle says:
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    Disregard 1 “dislike” on Linda’s comment. Accident on my part & I agree with her for the most part specifically along the coast. However, property owners with homes on inland lakes 100′s of miles from any ocean (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, etc.), have seen their flood insurance rates increase 2-5x on October 1st, 2013, as a result of the Biggert-Waters 2012 Act with absolutely no history of claims ever being paid out by FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program for those properties. Without question, the average taxpayer AND these homeowners that are REQUIRED to carry flood insurance as a condition of their federally-backed loan, are paying for those folks that continue to suffer flood damage and rebuild in the same floodprone location. Another example: homes in New Orleans being rebuilt in areas below sea level????? It would be politically detrimental to deny developement in those areas?!?! Mother Nature will ultimately prevail against the man-made levees and pumps. Should we be surprised that lawmakers passed a law without ANY understanding of what was in the bill. Now Maxine Watters wants to look like the savior from her own flawed legislation. Incidently, the other co-sponsor of this bill, Biggert, is no longer in office. Good timing……

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:56 am
    Whodathunkit? says:
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    I was involved in the Write Your Own (WYO) Flood program in 1985 when it was given to private insurers for distribution. We told the Government that continuing to give grants and interest free loans to people who don’t buy insurance will continue to insure that inadequate premiums are collected. But, they are not insurance people, they are politicians and that’s how they will continue to act.

    NFIP also needs to be structured like a private insurer with surplus requirements, as was already pointed out.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      Very sensible. I’ll vote for you if you want to tackle this problem!

    • October 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm
      Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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      I have no problem with all together eliminating a corrupt program operating at a $26 billion deficit. The NFIP uses over charging, self serving contractors that don’t care about the program as long as they can figure out a way to manipulate the rules and make astronomical profits.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:59 am
    allison says:
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    i live in a town that hasn’t flooded since 1997, but we are still considered high risk. my home has NEVER had a claim against it for flooding, yet my flood insurance was about to go up from $901 to $4,279 that was expected to pay by Nov. 8th! this bill would have destroyed my town and more personally my family. they need to do re-mapping before they expect people to pay these outrageous bills! i get the natural disasters that people keep building homes in those areas are sucking the life out of FEMA, but for heaven sake’s! i live in ND and this bill was completely unfitting to my whole towns situation in particular. If people would stop re-building after their home is destroyed 700 times we wouldn’t have this problem as a COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm
      Dave says:
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      “i live in a town that hasn’t flooded since 1997″

      This is exactly the kind of short-sighted thinking that gets us into messes like this. OK Allison, lets do the math. Your town hasn’t been flooded since 1997, a whole 16 years. So lets assume a flood once every 16 years. How do we fund for that? I’ll assume it wasn’t a 100% loss. For argument’s sake, let’s assume a 25% loss. So a 25% loss once every 16 years is an annual average loss of 1.5625%. Now we have to load that for risk, expenses and profit, so let’s mnove that to 2%. So for every $100,000 in value for your home you should be paying $2,000 in premium. I don’t know what your home is worth, but anything less than $100,000 and your insurance is a steal at $901 and probably needs to be at least doubled. Better yet, how about the NFIP be disbanded and let’s see how the market prices this risk.

      • October 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm
        allison says:
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        dave- is all you do all day is comment on everyone’s comment? this has affected me financially. i bought my house for the reason of affordability, this insurance now depreciates my homes value and makes it almost impossible to pay it off. my home not having a claim should be looked at instead of just how deep my basement is. i live in ND for a reason and now we are forced to pay for coastal natural disasters because of the people that chose to rebuild their wrecked homes over and over again. i agree, i would pay higher flood insurance, but Christ 300% higher!!??? the problem with this law is no one was aware of it, i never would have purchased this home if i knew about this law. when I asked FEMA how they educated people about this, they said they had a Webinar in March 2013 in SD, they didn’t do a damn thing when it passed in July 2012. Its like getting hit by a truck and your car insurance going up 4 times the amount you were paying with a perfect driving record!

        • October 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm
          Dave says:
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          Allison, I’d love the government to get out of the insurance business. The best and most accurate way to price any product is to let the free market decide. Communism was tried in Russia and many other countries where it was felt better that a government official set the prices for a product or service. All those economies have failed. And if a free market decides that a home is in too risky of an area, they either refuse to insure it or charge prohibitive rates. That’s how a free market operates. And if it provides a disincentive to build homes in dangerous places (or at least charge people the correct price for the decision to buy anyway) what is wrong with that? The fewer people living in flood prone areas is a good thing, isn’t it? Providing subsidized premiums makes people more likely to buy where they shouldn’t. How is that good?

          • October 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm
            Allison says:
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            I agree 100%. I knew my home was in a flood zone, but didn’t know about this new law, however i knew we have a dike, and what the insurance was already, and that home has never needed to claim insurance it was actually on whats called a “preferred list”. the government has definately had more control over everyone’s lives the last 5 years. i wish they’d just let people try to actually live the “american dream” again.

          • October 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm
            LiveFree says:
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            I think Dave is make a big picture point and Allison is focusing on her personal situation. Which I agree Allison that your situation is unfortunate and you should be angry, but be angry at the right people/right reason. That reason is the one Dave is pointing out, that this was all caused because the government miss-priced the market and caused people to think they can afford what they can not. Another great example of how the private market is better than the public market. Sure the public one looks better because it is cheaper so voter flock to it, but their is logic and reason behind a private markets pricing model and only crony politics and power chasing behind the public’s pricing.

        • November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am
          kaysea says:
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          Similar circumstances but maybe worse. I live in WV, bought my house in 2007 with no required flood insurance. The house was built in 1964 (49 years old now). They changed the flood maps in 2008 and we were required to get it when refinancing for a lower interest rate. It was about 1200 per year-annoying but manageable. With Biggert-Waters it will go up to over $10000 per year. I cannot sell. Who would pay more insurance than the house is worth? 60% of the homes in WV have been subsidized probably because most of the housing is older, there is very limited new construction. Most houses have basements and there is very little flat land. We have no hurricanes, no tornadoes, relatively mild weather but have the same risk as coastal property? I don’t think so.

          • November 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm
            Dave says:
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            Had the government never gotten involved and affordable insurance never been made available, the house would never have been built and everybody would be better off. But the government stuck their nose where it did not belong.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm
    G.G. says:
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    I have a modest home in Florida-Just about all of Florida is in a flood zone.
    My home has never flooded in the 42 years since it was built-
    I must have flood ins. because it is required by the mortgage company.
    I payed $2,500 for flood ins. last year-
    The NEW rate is $25,000.
    I cannot pay it and it WILL put me in foreclosure. These rates have to be sorted out so people like me do not lose there home!
    Maybe it should be like car ins.-no accidents equal lower premiums.

    • October 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm
      Margaret says:
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      GG – did you buy before 7/6/2012? If so, as long as you don’t let coverage lapse you will see rate increases but not loose the benefit of the prefirm rate that kept you at the $2,500 premium.

      • October 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm
        G.G. says:
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        Margaret, I did buy after that on 10/24/2012. My policy was up on 10/24- I’m in the 30 day grace period before I default on the ins. I can not pay what they are asking.
        I’m holding my breath…..
        I don’t want to lose my home- I have everything into it.

        • October 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm
          jw says:
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          G.G., I will agree that you should have been informed how much the rate would increase. However, you could have researched the flood insurance a little and maybe known to ask questions about rate changes. Your best bet is to research rates. Perhaps you will be able to find an alternative to losing your home.

          • October 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm
            Julesga says:
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            It would have been difficult for her to know what the rates were in October 2012 since FEMA didn’t release them until March 2013. EVERYONE including the insurance companies were in the dark till then. Even after the rates were released many insurance agents didn’t understand the changes BW12 called for.

          • October 30, 2013 at 7:24 am
            jw says:
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            Julesga, ok, so rates wouldn’t have been known. G.G. still could have discovered the BW12 and the fact that subsidies would go away for purchases after a certain date. Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would purchase property in a flood zone, on purpose.

          • October 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm
            Julesga says:
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            So, jw, I assume you are in the habit of reading the federal register and know about each piece of legislation that may have an impact on your life? That’s about the only way GG could have known about BW12. There wasn’t any news coverage, FEMA didn’t do any outreach, and even the industry articles at that time pretty much only said the NFIP had been extended 5 years thanks to BW12.

          • October 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm
            Julesga says:
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            So, jw, I assume you are in the habit of reading the federal register and know about each piece of legislation that may have an impact on your life? That’s about the only way GG could have known about BW12. There wasn’t any news coverage, FEMA didn’t do any outreach, and even the industry articles at that time pretty much only said the NFIP had been extended 5 years.

          • October 31, 2013 at 8:30 am
            jw says:
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            Yeah, I read the federal register – Not!

            I do, however, research every major purchase (which for me is anything over $100). I spend months looking up various topics that would impact my purchase. It took me 6 months to pick out a dishwasher. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t look for any articles/information about flood insurance before they purchase property that already requires flood coverage.

          • November 1, 2013 at 9:17 am
            Julesga says:
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            JW – my point is no, she really couldn’t have known. There was no information available back in October 2012. There was nothing on the FEMA website and there were only very brief (like one paragraph brief) summaries of BW12. The government and FEMA dropped the ball on this when it came to implementation and outreach.

      • October 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm
        Angel says:
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        Margaret,Your thinking is very short sighted. When G.G. wants to sell the property, who in their right mind will buy it knowing that they will pay 25K in flood insurance? The true value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it. That being said, the property would probably be worth land value only. Not a good spot to be in for the current home owner.

    • October 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm
      Liane says:
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      Maybe this will help you then – my question is whether this is proposed or whether the deal has really been signed by House and Senate?

    • October 29, 2013 at 11:07 am
      SC Agent says:
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      G.G., was the new rate of $25,000 determined after you submitted an elevation certificate? If the house is pre-FIRM & you didn’t submit an elevation certificate, you would be given a tentative rate for a period of 1 year, which can often times be much higher than your actuarial rate. You may want to look into getting an elevation certificate completed and submitting it to your agent to have your policy re-rated. You would be required to submit an elevation certificate at renewal next year anyway if you haven’t do so already.

      • October 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm
        G.G. says:
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        Yes SC- I did have an elevation cert. it is from 2005 from the previous owner.

        Anyone want to buy a house in Florida cheap???

        • October 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm
          TIM says:
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          I will swap you for one that’s located in a flood zone in Iowa,

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm
    Snow says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm
      Dave says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      And people will stop living and building homes in flood zones. Damn!

      • October 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm
        Bob says:
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        Based on that logic. Your willing to price people out of living in cities that they grew up in because they were born into homes in special flood hazard areas.

        • October 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm
          jw says:
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          Why is that a bad thing?

        • October 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm
          Dave says:
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          I’m happy to have the market set fair prices to insure against events people need to be concerned about so they can make fair decisions about where to live or not to live and how much to pay for that property. Rather than uneducated politicians with no skin in the game setting and subsidizing premiums with my tax dollars.

      • October 29, 2013 at 10:14 am
        Brian NYC says:
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        so folks living in Tornado Alley should move, the town of Moore OK has now been destroyed twice they should not be allowed to rebuild? the folks in the earthquake zones in CA should not be allowed to build?
        illogical thinking and more the problem than the solution.

        • October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm
          jw says:
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          Again, why is it bad to not feel sorry because someone has to move out of a dangerous living condition?

          • November 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm
            stwiss says:
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            There is much discussion of hypotheticals but here is the reality, based on the last financial crisis.

            I live on a small inlet to Tampa Bay in Pinellas county Florida. It’s a 40 year old house. FEMA just determined I am in a high risk flood zone. There are many thousands just like me in a similar situation in Florida and elsewhere.

            We all can’t afford $25,000 flood insurance.
            We can’t sell our homes for a fair price now.
            We can’t pay them off in full either.
            We will stay in our homes, pay our mortgage, hazard insurance and taxes, but will not buy flood insurance at those rates.

            The banks will be upset. They will be forced to purchase flood insurance to protect their assets. It will cost them billions.

            Foreclosure is only an option when there is a healthy real estate market with willing buyers. This wont be the case. Thus the banks will be screwed.

            The banks will demand another bailout.
            And the taxpayers will pay it.
            Biggert Waters is lose-lose for everyone.

        • October 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm
          ssx1 says:
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          Not sure it’s that they shouldn’t be ALLOWED to rebuild, they can do whatever they want. The point is that after they rebuild the price for the insurance that will allow them to do so next time should accurately reflect the risk that the town will be destroyed again. If that price is high then some people will choose to leave & live in a safer area, saving themselves and the rest of the country from the costs associated with rebuilding, such as increased insurance & tax rates. Then those that do choose to stay & rebuild will be paying the appropriate level of premium based on their risk of loss that will allow the insurer to pay for them to rebuild the next time the town is destroyed.

          That’s how the free market works. All of that is entirely missing currently in the National Flood Insurance Program, where the real illogical thinking is located & what has obviously created this problem.

        • November 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm
          Dave says:
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          The free market accurately prices the risk for loss arising out of a tornado which has a swath of destruction generally a mile in width or usually much less. Not like a hurricane with a width of over 100 miles sometimes and not like a river which regularly floods.

          • November 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm
            K Roccaforte says:
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            Are homeowners in a tornado risk area paying 6,000.00 and up a year for insurance?

      • October 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm
        *MARK* says:
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        Everybody is in a flood zone. You must mean a Special Flood Hazard Area. Terminology is everything

      • October 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm
        Julesga says:
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        I wonder where you expect people that work in the seafood industries and ports to live? What about shipbuilders and Navy personnel? Entire counties are flood zones in some areas.

        • October 30, 2013 at 7:27 am
          jw says:
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          Well, it’s called commuting. People do it every day!

    • October 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm
      Baxtor says:
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      Snow,
      You’re correct. I must be an idiot because I can’t convince the government to use YOUR tax dollars to help pay for MY insurance premium. But you’re able to get my tax dollars to help pay for yours. Hmmmm, maybe gullible is a better word than idiot. I do kind of like Sucker!

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm
    Steve says:
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    Carriers fail to utilize a very useful tool. I believe they choose not to. FEMA publishes loss history on any home a claim has been made and paid. Those of us in such areas receive this report yearly. If FEMA chose to share this info with National Flood Underwriters (or they seek it out) rates could truly be built on loss history or lack thereof.
    Seems easy enough.

    • October 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm
      ssx1 says:
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      They don’t fail or choose not to overlook FEMA published loss history for use in rate-setting because flood insurance rates are set by the Federal Government, i.e. FEMA & the NFIP!!

      Insurance carriers have nothing to do with the rate-setting process, they only sell & administer the policies. If they did set rates you can be absolutely sure that they’d use loss history as a factor, but then again we’d also never have gotten into this situation in the first place.

      • October 31, 2013 at 9:09 am
        jw says:
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        There are some companies who sell flood insurance not a part of NFIP.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm
    Mark Karlie says:
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    I hope business and home owners are aware that a Private Flood Insurance option exists. We were surprised to see a savings outside of NFIP.

    • October 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm
      Tim says:
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      Please tell me where I can buy private flood insurance outside of NFIP
      I believe that you are ill informed !!!

      • October 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm
        Flood Mapper says:
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        You can get private insurance through Lloyds of London.

        • October 29, 2013 at 11:46 am
          Rene Sanchez says:
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          Tim look up Rene Sanchez, Inter-Pacific Insurance Brokers,in LinkedIn.

        • October 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm
          allison says:
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          is this for any state in the country?

        • October 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm
          Dorothy says:
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          My home owners is through Loyds of London and my ins. agent had told me we had to get NFIP . Nothing was said about them having private flood ins. You may be misinformed.

          • October 30, 2013 at 7:29 am
            jw says:
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            Check with your DOI – ask for a list of companies with flood products available.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    jmikel says:
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    My 6th row home on one of the most beautiful barrier island beaches has been for sale for a while. With this bill a new buyer will pay $10k flood vs 1.75k now. MAJOR IMPACT ON PROP VALUE AND DEMAND!
    Will definitely impact housing recovery in coastal areas of country.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm
      Dave says:
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      And people will stop buying homes in flood zones.

      • October 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm
        Donna says:
        Hot debate. What do you think?
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        Everyone lives in a flood zone; it just depends on how much rain you get. Do you think that the people in Colorado anticipated the damage they received this Summer?

        What would you do with the 4,000,000 homes that are in A and V flood zones, Dave? Pretty short sighted.

        • October 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm
          Dave says:
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          I’d rather have profit incentivized actuaries than government hacks with my tax dollars in hand setting flood insurance rates. When “the market” refuses to insure something or does so at an exorbitant premium, there’s usually a good reason for it.

        • October 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm
          Earl says:
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          It can rain on our island for 30 days we wont flood, but if a storm comes we could get a surge and maybe get flooded…

          the last flood in my house built in 1956 was in 1959…

          oh, and my neighbor on the island is a middle school teacher.. for you rich man poor man people.

          • October 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm
            jw says:
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            It’s not about income, Earl. It’s about responsibility. Don’t build/buy in a flood prone area. By the way, you are allowed to go outside the NFIP to get flood insurance if you want. Since your area hasn’t flooded, you might find a better rate.

        • October 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm
          ssx1 says:
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          They should have, they live next to/in a mountain range with peaks in high altitudes that get hundreds of inches of snow per year. It is common knowledge that in the spring/summer quickly rising or unusually high temperatures can melt all that snow very quickly, which then forms rivers as it travels down the mountains and can very easily flood areas at the base of the range. It happens every year in Alaska, Pakistan, and recently in Colorado & the Dakotas. It is also why the Nile floods annually & allows Egyptians to farm the river banks in the middle of the desert.

  • October 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    Tim Grady says:
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    I am an agent on the West Coast. To me, actuarialy correct rates mean that areas most likely to see the huge damaging losses should pay more than areas that aren’t. The west coast does not have hurricanes with twenty foot storm surges. We have never had a disaster like Katrina or Sandy, yet we are paying the same rates as the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard. How is that actuarialy sond?
    I have customers in post FIRM houses that are built to code and have never had a loss but they are losing the houses to forclosure because their insurance rates have become unaffordable.
    And don’t even get me started on houses that are in the X zone one day and then remapped in to a VE zone.

  • October 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    Liane says:
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    I’m confused – it says a deal has been reached in one place but in the other it says the PROPOSED legislation – is it proposed or is this a done deal for the next 4 years?

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm
      Andrew says:
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      It means that a general agreement has been reached — something that can be written into a formal bill and will likely pass Congress. So there’s been a handshake, and now it has to be put in writing and voted on.

      • October 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm
        Dave says:
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        Nancy Pelosi: “We have to pass the bill so you can read what’s in it.”

        • October 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm
          Captain Planet says:
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          Nice 4 second soundbite. Care to provide us all with the context you and Fox News have removed from this quote? Probably not, it won’t fit the narrative.

  • October 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm
    Celtica says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm
      SWFL Agent says:
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      So everyone that lives in a flood zone is rich? How clueless are you Celtica? Yes, wealthy people do own beach front houses but that’s not the majority of the flood zone in terms of size and numbers. In fact, traditionally the less affluent neighborhoods have been built on low lying, undesirable parcels of land that the rich have no interest in.

      The bottomline is that politicians do not have the experience, common sense, and patience to fix a very complex problem.

      • October 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm
        Celtica says:
        Hot debate. What do you think?
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        Dear SWFL — and naysayers: The GOP does not willingly step up to the plate to solve poor people’s problems. That ought to be your first clue. Coastal flooding the second.

        BTW, you might be interested in this article from the IJ:

        http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/10/24/309110.htm

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm
      Debbie says:
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      You, Celtica, is out of reality. “By and large its a rich person’s problem?” You know nothing about the coastal communities. The majority of homes being affected aren’t even NEAR the coast! And to make this political. You’re a moron.

      • October 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm
        Celtica says:
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        I is not!

      • October 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm
        Earl says:
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        She never vacations on the coast anywhere. things are just here when they go on vacation, no one is actually here living… we just come in to town and clean your rooms you rent the day before you get here. really people……

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm
      Dave says:
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      Celitica, you obviously have not read any of the commentary here. It is no wonder why your views are so out of touch. Not everybody who lives near water is rich. Do some serious reading once in a while. Amazing how much the ignorant mind can learn.

    • October 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm
      Coastal Agent says:
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      Virginia Beach, VA has rich folk, poor folk, middle folk, and just plain folk. And guess what? We all live in a flood plain. Stop trying to seperate us. It is not just the elite that live on our nations coasts. May I say, “Get Real.”

    • October 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm
      Kim says:
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      Celtica, You are ignorant about this . 20% of the homes in America are now in flood zone. I am not rich.
      http://www.StopFemaNow.com

    • November 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm
      FFA says:
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      Celtica, you need a shrink!

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    JohnS says:
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    • October 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm
      Angel says:
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      It is a shame that you have no earthly idea what you are talking about.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm
      Dave says:
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      Yeah, I’m as you describe. And I agree the governemnt should get out of the subsidized flood insurance market. What’s your point?

    • October 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm
      Celtica says:
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      John S — next thing they’ll be telling us crazy ones is that Florida IS NOT a swing state…

    • October 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm
      ssx1 says:
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      Right here – the market should set rates and the government should absolutely get out of the insurance business. In fact, if the government had never entered the market & rates were market-based & acturarially sound we would never have gotten in this mess to begin with. It is only because the government decided to enter the insurance business, then set rates based on politics and not the market, that poor, middle class, & wealthy people alike are facing foreclosure & tanking property values.

      This is a perfect lesson for why government is inferior to the free market and should get out of the way. It’s people like you who are to blame for the current fiasco. Btw, like most free market capitalists I am 100% for ending subsidies and charging market-based rates, which at this point would require scrapping the NFIP & starting over. Too bad big gov’t libs will keep artificially distorting markets with government interventions that only exacerbate the problem rather than fix it. Add the NFIP to the laundry list of liberal/progressive/government failures.

    • November 2, 2013 at 11:36 am
      FFA says:
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      John S – we are wondering when the general population of the US is going to say to the Govt – Enough is enough -but out of private business.

      Especially this administration – the Govt has NO CLUE how to run a business much less the country. I would not doubt that some how oBamas Lies are part of the problem here too.

      Join the Vote Them Out movement regardless of party affiliation.

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    John H says:
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    Fema concluded, that it would take 2 years to study the affordability. At what cost to taxpayers will that be, I wonder. I don’t think it takes a slide rule, to figure this out, does it. A new owner, today would be expected to pay, $15,957.00 as an annual premium on my home in Hudson, Florida, 34667. Even if after the study, they deemed it 25% of that figure, it would still be almost $4,000.00 a year in annual premium, which equates to $332.00 a month. With fixed incomes, and workers, wages and benefits, continuing to work backward, how is that affordable. That’s just a hypothetical theory. Here is my theory, Unfortunately, Unforeseen, unaffordablity, unsalable, undesirable, equates to giving the home back to the bank before the subsidies are phased out and I am required to pay full boat premiums. I wonder much the Private Mortgage Insurance companies, are sweating this impending doom.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm
      John H says:
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      my home in Hudson, Fl. by the way is insured to $125,000, and the annual premium, today for a buyer required to carry flood insurance is $15,957.00

    • November 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm
      FFA says:
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      Obama will probably out source it to a foreign nation.

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm
    spins22 says:
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    What till you see what they do with your health insurance!

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    Old Lawman says:
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    It looks as if Santa Clause has just been found out. There is a lot of blame to go around. They blame the Army Corps of Engineers for poor workmanship. The real blame is with Mother Nature. We can’t continue to live in areas that have a history of disasters, such as along rivers, costal areas, or below sea level. We wonder then why our basements get wet. Run to our elected reps who have little or no idea what to do (Biggert-Waters)and demand results. Then we get “remapping” and kick the can down the road ( 4yrs ) We all need to take a good long look in the miror and ask can WE afford to live HERE? Do your research and make sure that where you buy is not prone to disasters.

    • October 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm
      jw says:
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      I think you might be asking for too much. It seems people still think they should be allowed to live in a house they can’t afford. If you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford the house.

      • October 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm
        G.G. says:
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        jw- If I knew when I bought the house last Oct.,I would not of bought it. I’m sure many others are in the same boat that I’m in and sinking fast-

        • October 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm
          jw says:
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          G.G., I understand you would have made a different decision had you known the rate. However, you could have researched flood insurance prior to looking for a home and known that the change was coming. Maybe not the exact %, but you would have had more information to make a decision.

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    No Doubt says:
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    i’m guessing that most if not all on here are in the insurance business at some level.
    That said, i’m surprised by all the comments for folks who have written that they have never had a flood claim on their property and can’t understand the increase.
    Hello folks….most property risks-personal or commercial will NEVER have a claim of any sort during the time period where one person owns that property.
    To me its like people who live in brush areas who have never had a fire loss in their brush area property but object to the price…large consuming fires are like floods in that you can be in a place where loss arising from that peril is far higher than other areas, but a given property has never had a loss which generated a claim.
    Unfortunately carriers can’t see into the future to see which risks will have a loss to a given peril but the actuaries tend to be pretty good about figuring out which areas are in 100 vs 500 year loss sensitiity areas.
    Delaying this conversion to actuarily sound rates is a bad idea. What makes more sense is a 15 or 20% cap in any given year on the rate increase so that existing homeowners aren’t being severaly impacted in any given year and can plan their future costs better.
    Oh btw @Celtica-I get where you are coming from but when was the last time Maxine Waters ever did something for the “rich” except when it was her, her husband or wealthy contributors? Knowing her, my bet is that someone told her that more dems are affected by flood losses than repbulicans and she then was eager to sponsor this bill.

    • October 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm
      Dave says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      No Doubt, thanks for the excellent well reasoned post. Most of the other posts are from those who apparently don’t understand insurance. Like the folks who wrote the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    • October 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm
      Celtica says:
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      No Doubt — Maxine Waters is the Ranking Member of that committee – representing California. She didn’t actually have a dog in that fight. Coastal California is largely protected from homes being flooded – since most of the coast is public land upon which structures are rarely built. Malibu and Newport Beach homes on private land are notable exceptions — and they sure as hell can afford the insurance.

      However, I bet if she made a move to have quake insurance subsidized, the GOP would squash it, California not be a swing state and all…

      • October 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm
        Earl says:
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        Waters lives in the Watts district of LA.. She will never lose her position in politics, no matter how bad a bill she creates, unless it has to do with reducing entitlements.

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm
    Martha Vasquez says:
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    Most “rich” people are not really affected by flood insurance. You have to have insurance if you have a mortgage. The “rich” can self insure. I am a Realtor and live in a condo on the beach.

  • October 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm
    jim says:
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    Politics wins again, especially in flood prone areas where it will now take four yesrs to fix what these politicians did in just a few days. Amazing isn’t it! Now the rest of the tax payers can continue even longer in footing these politician’s flooding “toilet bowel” locations where most people, except these politician’s voters, with common sense would never want to live.

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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    Regardless of what side you support, Biggert-Waters will financially destroy many innocent people. I STRONGLY support making the program actuarially sound but there are better ways to do it. How about eliminating the NFIP all together? The program has rates that are not fair to anyone.

    Some properties in low risk areas pay tremendously high rates while the NFIP awards Letters of Map Revision to many high risk, REPETITIVE LOSS PROPERTIES that have received millions of dollars in NFIP claim payments.

    The NFIP stinks of corruption.

    • October 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm
      Bill Price says:
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      - IF NFIP had not rebuild uninsured houses, it would probably be Positive.
      - If NFIP had kept reserves, they would be closer to solvent. (Can’t find data on how much $ returned to the General Fund, vs Katerina and Sandy losses.)
      - If Insurance Companies hadn’t kept high 25% to 35% management fees, NFIP would be closer to positive. ( This is a guesstimate.)
      In short,, The Congress and the Ins Cos have been raiding the NFIP for years, and now want to charge the Premium Payers for overruns for rebuilding Un-insurred property owners.

      Bill Price USLandAlliance.US

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm
    Jay says:
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    Ooooooooooohhhhhh Do Over!!

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm
    concerned says:
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    • October 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm
      Angel says:
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      Seriously? That is the best you have to offer to this?

  • October 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    cotyre says:
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    Gregory and Angel are correct on this topic. I wonder if the most vehement in this thread wanting actuarial sound flood rates are ACA supporters. The reason for this discourse is the federal government is trying to manufacture ways to finance the ACA. The fix is a simple one- a National CAT fund paid in by all for flood, hurricanes, mudslides, wildfires etc. Funny how many are so opposed to the NFIP, but yet are the most ardent supporters of the ACA.

    • October 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm
      Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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      No one is more opposed to the NFIP than I am. The program could be run with a simplified accurate rating system but doing that would eliminate a bunch of unnecessary jobs within the federal government. There’s no way this or any other administration would allow that so they keep this corrupt program in existance.
      BTW: I’m no supporter of ACA. ACA is socialism in blooming color.

      • October 29, 2013 at 9:46 am
        rebecca says:
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        Unfortunately, most of the people who do the work of FEMA are private contractors who overcharge for government contracts and create inefficiencies in the work being done. Most of the actual staff at FEMA who would be doing the bulk of the work to organize insurance outreach meetings and such are overworked and deployed 4-6 months out of any given year. Rather than cutting even more of the few remaining FEMA regional workers, maybe the overwhelming number of contracts to keep the Agency running should be sent back in house or reviewed

      • October 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm
        jw says:
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        There shouldn’t be a federal program. Let the insurers take this back and charge appropriate rates. FEMA should not be in the insurance business.

      • October 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm
        Captain Planet says:
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        Unjustified – please define “socialism” for the class and then explain to us all exactly how private carriers can be socialists.

        • November 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm
          FFA says:
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          Socialism – See OBama.

    • October 30, 2013 at 7:36 am
      jw says:
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      I disagree. Insurance (including flood, wind, hail and EQ) must be priced according to risk. The ACA is a crock of poo.

    • November 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm
      FFA says:
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      There is a cat charge on Workers Comp Policies. Where does that $$ go?

    • November 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm
      Tim says:
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      What is the ACA. ???
      For us regular people!!!

  • October 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    Earl Murphy says:
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    You live on the coast you insure your home, you pay FEMA and if something happens FEMA pays for your repairs. Why did FEMA pay for non paying Katrina homes and dump all its reserves on homes that never paid in a penny.?? How do you sustain any kind of business doing that? Answer.. Govt should not be involved in business endeavors.

  • October 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    Catherine Stevens says:
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    I don’t believe that the government should be subsidizing my flood insurance premiums. If you don’t have coverage, FEMA should not pay for any damage.

  • October 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    Tim says:
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    Having bought a rental (income) property in October of 2012 I did my homework and got my flood insurance quote. The cost was $1155.00 per year
    In august of 2013 the policy was cancelled ,due to no elevation certificate on file!
    I obtained an elevation certificate and the new premium was. $. 4292.00!!!
    This was all after the biggerts flood act of 2012 was enacted by congress,so my biggest problem is that I never would have bought a rental property had I been given the correct rate in the first place!!!
    This property is in Iowa & I no longer can afford flood insurance & furthermore will never be able to sell it because nobody will ever be able to afford these unscrupulous rates

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm
    Tami says:
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    The issue here with the poorly thought out Biggert Waters Act is the consequences for residences that were built according to the standards the government required at the time of construction, have had minimal or no previous damage, have maintained flood insurance throughout (i.e. grandfathered) and still face exorbitant insurance rates. My house was built in 1977 at 15′, the base flood elevation at the time was 14′. FEMA has now issued proposed flood maps raising my base flood elevation to 16′ and the Biggert Waters Act would take away my grandfathering and move me to a V20 zone which will put me at -3′ in BFE and into an insurance rate of well over $10,000/yr on a $200,000 home. This is a home built according to the required standards, has never had a flood claim filed on it but yet I will face severe consequences due to the Biggert Waters Act. Not only will my home become unaffordable as my mortgage will require flood insurance, but it will become unsellable because no one will want to pay these ridiculous rates. What does that lead too? Foreclosure; not just for me but for many. I also know of some who did not carry flood insurance but yet received substantial grants from FEMA to repair their homes after Ike. Why would FEMA give out the money we have paid in thru our premiums, to others who didn’t pay for flood insurance? FEMA needs to take that calculation into consideration when determining why the NFIP is currently not sustainable and review their policy for giving grants to uninsured homes. Those of us who have followed all the rules shouldn’t be punished for the exorbitant administrative fees FEMA pays for the NFIP and for the poor administration in other areas.

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm
    John says:
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    Too much noise people. Please focus on solutions. The NFIP isn’t all that difficult. Post-firm homes built to the base flood elevation(BFE), or higher than the BFE, are paying premiums based on actuarially sound rating methodologies. However, BW12 forces pre-firm homes into the post-firm rating. The penalities for not building a house to code are punitive, NOT actuarial. In property insurance, people in cat zones pay between $0.14 cents per hundred of value up to maybe $2.50-$3.00 per hundred of value. This means that the most the private market would charge for $100K in coverage is $3,000 (i.e. ($100,000/100)*$3.00), and the most one would pay for $250K would be $3K*2.5=$7,500. The fact that BW12 is requiring some folks to pay $15,20,30,40,50K for $250K in coverage is NOT actuarially sound. Clearly, the fresh from law school kiddies did not have a clue about forcing older homes into an algorithm that was designed for homes that are meant to be built to code. Having insurance premiums increase 100-1000% is not how insurance people do business. As far as I know, the drafters of BW12 did not collaborate with FEMA on their smarty pants law.

    Solution– keep hitting the pre-firm homes with 10-15% rate increases year after year until there’s enough money in the NFIP bucket to pay flood claims. Softer premium increases for post-firm homes.

    Warning– private insurers will write flood insurance, but they will cherry pick the NFIP so that only the worst risks remain (i.e. satellite tech to identify homes/buildings with better than average elevation relative to the rates contemplated by the NFIP, and they will write those)

    Now, we shall see if BW12 is repealed/revised before Christmas. First, many good people will need to lose their homes. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Congressional reform.

    • October 29, 2013 at 10:50 am
      Martha Vasquez says:
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      This week we heard there are 2 companies considering getting into the flood insurance business in FL. This is a good thing. I agree the government has no business in the insurance industry except to set reasonable regulations to make sure companies are legitimate and funded enough to do what they say they will do and not take the premium money and run.

      Same with Citizens Insurance in FL. Insurance companies were allowed to set up a FL company which sent all profits out of state. They couldn’t raise rates enough to cover claims so Citizens took over. Citizens is at the point now that private companies are coming back to the market to cherry pick the good properties. There must be a way to share the risk in the private sector and not allow private companies to take all the profits without taking more of the risks.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm
    julesga says:
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    I keep hearing the NFIP has been subsidized by all taxpayers. This simply is not true. NFIP has collected $6 billion more in premiums than it has paid out. In the meantime, fees and commissions to insurance companies that have ZERO exposure consume at least 30% the premium with even more paid to the company it it handles a claim. The program is in debt due to these fees and gross mismanagement. However, the debt is a loan from the treasury and must be paid back by policyholders, not by the taxpayers.

    The new actuarialy sound rate make no sense and FEMA won’t disclose how the numbers were derived. The Georgia coast isn’t like the Outer Banks or Washington State or Kansas City, yet rates are the same across the board. How is that possible? It also make no sense to pay 8-15% of the value of the home for flood insurance. People that don’t have mortgages will drop coverage and self-insure thereby further reducing the pool.

    All federally-backed mortgages (which is virtually every mortgage in the US) are required to carry flood insurance if the house is in a flood plain yet 40% of them do not.

    Lastly, all of you that are not in a flood plain and smugly tell everyone else “too bad” – just wait. As new maps come out you just might find yourself in the same position. It’s happening all over the country. Then come back and tell us how you feel when you are handed that 5 digit flood insurance bill.

    • October 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm
      Bill Price says:
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      jules Ga
      While “unofficial” computations show that Ins Cos are charging 25%to 30% management fee. I can’t find Official conformation of that. Do you have reference?
      Bill Price

      • October 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm
        Julesga says:
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        Yep!! Right from the horses’s mouths…

        From the Senate Hearing testimony of the president of Fidelity National Insurance: http://1.usa.gov/1bAvAgm
        “Fidelity and other carriers who market and service on behalf of the NFIP fulfill all obligations of a traditional insurance company with one major exception, that being the insurance companies do not assume the policyholder risk. The actual risk is 100% underwritten by the Federal Government through the National Flood Insurance Program. Insurance companies are responsible for all marketing, policy quotation, sale, issuance and servicing, in addition to all claims handling and claims payment. Currently Fidelity and all the other participating companies receive an expense reimbursement of 30.2 percent for the policy issuance, servicing and marketing. Fidelity and other NFIP representing companies also receive a 3.3% claims administration fee when claims are adjusted and paid. The 30.2% processing fee is used to pay independent agency commissions, processing costs, marketing costs, and state premium taxes.”

        And from an article in the Insurance Journal itself:

        http://bit.ly/PlL8mG

        “To date, over 80 private insurers sell and service NFIP policies. For their troubles, they will now receive an expense allowance equal to 30 percent of premium. Agents receive 15 percent commission, and the NFIP picks up 13 percent of company expenses and 2 percent of state premium tax”

      • October 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm
        Julesga says:
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        Yep. from the horses mouths:

        http://bit.ly/PlL8mG From the Senate testimony of the president of Fidelity National Insurance

        And from the Insurance Journal itself: http://bit.ly/PlL8mG

        “To date, over 80 private insurers sell and service NFIP policies. For their troubles, they will now receive an expense allowance equal to 30 percent of premium. Agents receive 15 percent commission, and the NFIP picks up 13 percent of company expenses and 2 percent of state premium tax”

      • October 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm
        Julesga says:
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        Okay, I have responded twice. I think it is kicking my replies due to the links I provided. So, I provide excerpts.

        From the president of Fidelity Insurance testifying before the Senate Banking Committee:
        “Fidelity and other carriers who market and service on behalf of the NFIP fulfill all obligations of a traditional insurance company with one major exception, that being the insurance companies do not assume the policyholder risk. The actual risk is 100% underwritten by the Federal Government through the National Flood Insurance Program. Insurance companies are responsible for all marketing, policy quotation, sale, issuance and servicing, in addition to all claims handling and claims payment. Currently Fidelity and all the other participating companies receive an expense reimbursement of 30.2 percent for the policy issuance, servicing and marketing. Fidelity and other NFIP representing companies also receive a 3.3% claims administration fee when claims are adjusted and paid. The 30.2% processing fee is used to pay independent agency commissions, processing costs, marketing costs, and state premium taxes.”

        And from the Insurance Journal itself published July 31, 2012

        “To date, over 80 private insurers sell and service NFIP policies. For their troubles, they will now receive an expense allowance equal to 30 percent of premium. Agents receive 15 percent commission, and the NFIP picks up 13 percent of company expenses and 2 percent of state premium tax”

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm
    NYer says:
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    I live in a simple 1 family waterfront home owned by my family for 70 years. Have had flood insurance since the NFIP began and never had a flood claim before Sandy. On a retirement income of 40k, even with no mortgage to pay between taxes and homeowners insurance, I couldn’t pay what the increases would be and I would have a house I couldn’t sell. My neighborhood is one full of regular folks not rich people in fancy beach house. All of my neighborhood got flooded, even homes well away from the bay shore.

  • October 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm
    JR says:
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    Another attempt to tax under the disguise of reform has been thwarted again. Maxine Waters has never been accused of trying to help ALL people.

  • October 29, 2013 at 7:07 am
    Alex says:
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    Hey Linda….Excuse me. The Government are the ones who first allowed these homes to be built in these zones. It’s also like living anywhere. I imagine you think there shouldn’t be one home built in California due to Earthquakes, or not one house built in Texas because of Tornados? Or anywhere in central America where Tornados hit? Serious? It’s also like saying there should not be one fast food chain in America because of the food being served is all garbage, not even real food, making people fat, making people sick, so if the get sick and fat, it’s their fault and there should not be any medical help for them. Or maybe they should stop making cars that drive over 40mph because if you drive faster than that it could be a problem if you get into an accident and might have to use your auto insurance? Or not live up north because a snow storm could cave in your roof, snap trees on your house. You make no sense Linda!

    • October 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm
      Linda says:
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      Not at all Alex,
      What I’m saying is keep the government out of it. Build or live wherever you like; we still have some freedom’s in this country. But when you make your choice, developed some personal action plan to deal with the consequences of that choice. Whether it’s insurance or a designated savings venue so that when the worst happens, you’re prepared. If you think insurance is too high, then every year put away some money to rebuild. If you’re lucky, you never have to use it.

      Insurance was designed to cover the risks that have a possibility of causing loss. Unfortunately, with weather patterns changing and storms getting stronger, that possibility has almost become a certainty. Perhaps the most fundamental principal of insurance is the principal of indemnity – to put insureds back into the SAME financial condition they enjoyed before the loss. It was not intended to enrich the policyholder (moral hazard and all that). Unfortunately, by rebuilding a home that cost the occupant $100,000 5 years ago in a tidal zone (not a rich man’s home) it usually costs considerably more due to increases in building materials etc. Now the owner is in the same financial condition as before – or is he? Many above have decried the decrease in the value of their properties. “can’t afford the insurance and can’t sell for enough to cover the remaining mortgage”. OOPS!!! Is insurance creating a moral hazard? Why move if a government insurance plan can bail me out of the choice I make.

      Ultimately we all pay for it. State, county and local taxes go up as well when their resources are strained by catastrophe cleanup and rebuilding of infrastructure. It affects everyone, not just the people living in hazardous areas.

      There is no simple solution. I’m talking here about a 100K home. What do you do with the new skyscraper condos in Battery Park NY? We’re all going to pay one way or another. I just think it fair that those who make the choice shoulder more responsibility for their own actions.

      And, by the way, I do live in a heavy snow zone. My house has a steep pitch to the roof and I’ve removed or topped any trees that might have reached the house. And yes, I have an emergency generator and food & fuel supplies.

      • October 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm
        Richard Beck says:
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        It may help to remember that a full 50% of our population lives in a flood zone. and don’t forget what income is derived from the economies of these coastal or riverine communities. There is a compelling reason to have a system that is subsidized to help people in time of need. The over all problem is that everyone is not required to participate yet when an uninsured claim occurs, government subsidies still are available. Participate or not but do so at your own peril Its a huge problem and if everyone that who is at risks participates, the system will be sound.

  • October 29, 2013 at 7:09 am
    Alex says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • October 29, 2013 at 10:12 am
    mike says:
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    I know my situation isn’t unique. I purchased my home in 2006. When I purchased my home, it wasn’t in the flood zone. Then they changed the flood zones in my area and much of the town is now in the flood zone. My morgage payment was increased at that time by roughly 70 or so a month. Ok, i get it, that hurt the pocket book but i feel more secure with the coverage. Now I am recieving Fema letters making me choose my new policy, at over 2k a year, more than double the previous premiums for a house that wasn’t in the flood zone when i purchased it. They say that this is a gradual increase, taking place over a number of years. I recieved letters stating that my premiums could increase to around 9k. At those rates I would pay my house off in 10 years. I’m not wealthy, but do have a decent job, and If my payments go up much more than the proposed 100-150 a month, it’s forclosure city for me and many in my town, that wasn’t in the flood zone a few short years ago.

  • October 29, 2013 at 11:01 am
    ryan says:
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    Thank goodness for this. If you are not involved you do not understand it. The rates they are coming in with are preposterous and not actuarially sound at all. It was a poorly done deal. Many people would lose their homes because of it at no fault of their own. Something needs to be changed but the results from this bill were outrageous.

  • October 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm
    *MARK* says:
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    Delaying the increases has a very small effect on the real issues with the BW12. The elimination of Prefirm structures and classification, elimination of Grandfathering and assumptions in the A and V zones without an EC is killing Coastal Real Estate, buyers and sellers.

  • October 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm
    TIM says:
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    Did I read that they are trying to eliminate or redo BW12???

    • October 30, 2013 at 9:11 am
      Martha Vasquez says:
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      Just postpone for 4 years until the economic impact study can be done. Hopefully a better system can be developed in the mean time. Until then I expect homes in flood zones may lose value and homes in non-flood zones will gain.

      • October 30, 2013 at 10:27 am
        Maria says:
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        I heard a deal has been reached but still needs to be signed by President? Does anyone have a time frame as to when this will happen. After calling the NFIP and telling them that a deal has been reached and what is the next step, they respond that they have no clue as to what I am saying???

        • October 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm
          Michelle Newton says:
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          The bill was presented to both the House & Senate. It must still be voted upon. Best case scenario – we are looking at about 2 weeks for approval. Then even if it is approved, there will be an implementation nightmare on the part of the insurance carriers since all quoting systems are programmed for Biggert-Waters.

  • October 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm
    cin says:
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    i am low income & didn’t know how much my flood insurance was going to be until 1 week before closing (& by then it was too late, as i had to move etc). i don’t live near the bay or the river (almost a mile from each), there wasn’t a flood in the area since the 1970′s, & the bay level is historically low & not expected to ever get back to its normal level. the insurance is CRAZY – over twice what homeowner’s insurance is (easily 3x), does not cover contents (or basements), & you have to have a $5,000 deductible just to get by! there is no rhyme or reason to it. it’s the biggest scam there is – i’m sure they changed the maps in 2009 (in my area from ‘moderate’ to ‘high’ risk – surely not based on any recent info – but probably based on 1970′s info) to make money they lost out on in katrina & sandy. there is NO WAY on earth it’s reasonable. i am now stuck in this old house (built in 1900) since no one will want to buy it & pay the horrid flood insurance rates! (btw, this is an old section of town, & most people are WAY below middle class)

  • October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am
    bwm says:
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    The problem with NFIP is that the majority of its insureds are people whose properties are at risk: adverse selection. Rather than having this be a direct insurance program (even if written under WYO fronting paper), it should be converted to a reinsurance backstop in the same manner as TRIA, and all insurers underwriting property coverage for consumer-owned properties and small businesses up to some arbitrary size should be required to include the peril of flood as a cause of loss insured against. This would facilitate a better spread of risk, more even distribution of premium expense among all insureds, and it could be tolerable.

    Many comments have mentioned inland lakes, creeks, rivers, etc., but flood can also happen when water mains break. Although the risk may always seem remote for any single property, it’s out there as much as various other causes of loss are. Consider: Way back when, property policies were written to insure against fire. Only fire. Then they were expanded to cover vandalism and malicious mischief, and the extended coverage perils, but still just named perils. More recent forms provide more of an “all risk” approach, although there are still exclusions — but why not move the line a bit further and make room for flood as another insured event? State insurance commissioners could make this happen on all admitted/approved forms — more easily implemented for consumers and small biz than for larger businesses that hit the surplus lines markets — and the government could still require mortgagees to require borrowers of loans up to a certain size to have the coverage. Just apply it to all borrowers, not only those in SFHAs. And exempt the larger commercial borrowers who often have “private”/non-NFIP flood coverage with deductibles that exceed NFIP maximum coverage anyway.

    There really could be a fix for this if we’d just take a step back and start fresh.

    • October 30, 2013 at 9:08 am
      Martha Vasquez says:
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      Well reasoned.

  • October 30, 2013 at 10:29 am
    Maria says:
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    Deal was met to postpone BW12, however, needs to be signed by President first….does anyone have additional information on this?

  • October 30, 2013 at 11:52 am
    Kris says:
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    All you people need to understand that this is up to your own city adopting the FIRM rate maps. If your city declines to be part of FEMA you do not need to worry. If your city adopts the new maps that have not even been introduced in my area as of yet then you will be required to meet the new requirement. The codes now 11′ above flood stage and 1′ foot board for a total of 12′. The rumor is that the new FIRM map is going to come in at 16′ like the neighboring state which has already adopted their new maps. This would mean that everyone who built to code specks will now be non-compliant. They will be -4 feet. This is where I have a problem. Everyone knew the hazards so they built to the required code of the time and now years later you are going to say they need to pay 10X what they were. They are saying $1,500 premium going to $15,000-$20,000 to match the wind and hail insurance of $10,000+ for a total of $25,000-$30,000/year. This will decimate all small coastal towns. Get ready. I sure hope they can pass this bill. By the way my insurance bill is already $13,000 a year so I feel I am paying my share.

  • October 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    Wayne Turner says:
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    This is a huge relief for property owners in St.Tammany Real Estate Owners. We have seen home sales fall out and property value decreases due to the flood insurance hike. http://www.callwayneturner.com/Blog/StTammany-Flood-Zones-Cost-Delay-Flood-Insurance-Increase

  • October 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    Michelle Newton says:
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    I am an insurance agent in FL specializing in Condo Associations. Just as an example, an assn of mine with 100+ units is currently paying $67k per year. They are subsidized with a grandfathered zone, based on continuous coverage, and a Pre-FIRM rate. If they are re-rated according to BW12, their premium will be over $5MM per year. If they are able to keep the grandfathered zone, but not the pre-FIRM rate, the premium is about $250k per year. I told them to be double, triple sure that they do not let their policy lapse. Obviously the NFIP could not continue the way it was, but they definitely need to take a closer look at how removal of a subsidy will affect certain policyholders. If anyone has any specific BW12 questions, I’m happy to help. mnewton@insuranceagentfl.com

  • October 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm
    Richard Beck says:
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    While I think that everyone would agree that the system needs to be actuarily sustainable, deficiencies cannot be corrected on the backs of those who are seeking to comply bu actually taking part in the system by paying premiums. Flood insurance affects both coastal and riverine flood planes. It seems that making the system sound would be a lot simpler if you simply required everyone in the flood plane to be insures or be prevented from receiving subsidies. Then the actual cost can be spread amongst the actual people at risk. As for pre firm homes. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who own homes whose construction predates current laws that have never had a claim. The kind on penalty envisioned in this legislation would have made the sale of these properties impossible. Wouldn’t have been more accurate to have allowed these people a distinct level of claims before their property had to either be insured at full exposure or droped from further support of any kind. There are ways to make the system work .Unfortunately , our congress is going to actually have to think and study what is fair and effective. Frankly…it may jusat be too much for them.

  • November 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    Joye Alba says:
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    Too many people seem to think this only affects the coastal communities and say well you chose to build there….but its many of the inland areas that flooded here on the east coast and our home on the coast did not get any damage at all and has not for over 60 years. But the inland homes ho did not carry any flood insurance since they were not near water received millions from FEMA for loans and to make repairs…its this kind of thing and don’t forget Katrina handling were FEMA paid millions out in error to fraudulant cases…phony claims etc.

  • November 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm
    J. Dexter Smith says:
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    If this rate hike becomes mandated, which it will eventually, in order to be non-discriminatory as per locale, the rest of the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts will be affected by rate hikes in low lying areas too. Louisiana will be the first domino to fall; but all the other coastal states will soon follow; as once a federal agency gets a taste of power it’s like a shark that smells blood. Insurance will become a luxury as in 3rd world countries and mud huts will dominate the coastal scenes in the U.S., or a mass exodus to the country’s interior will occur over the next 10 years.

  • November 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    FFA says:
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    Seems the common theme is that the govt should but out of the insurance business. Just like everything else- if you buy it, you get it.
    I cant understand why it has to be studied for two years.

    • November 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm
      Tim says:
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      Because no insurance company’s wants to be in the flood insurance business, that’s why the govt took it over!!!
      They (insurance company’s) were tired of losing $$$$
      Please, could half of you nitwits that know nothing about this debacle quit posting your ignorant comments!!!

      • November 8, 2013 at 10:23 am
        Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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        Because of BW many London markets are working to establish flood programs at this time. These programs will be written with actuarially sound rates. The NFIP can’t get it right because they allow mapping contractors and engineering firms to manipulate the system. These government contractors approve Letters of Map revision on repetitive loss properties for the engineering firms. The engineering firms have no interest in making the program actuarially sound. They simply look at how they can make the most money at taxpayers expense. The program is corrupt and should be eliminated. I bet the private carriers get it right.

  • November 5, 2013 at 9:30 am
    Unforeseen consequences ... says:
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    … Has anyone thought about how this will effect retired people who have gotten one of those Reverse Mortgages ???
    You still have to pay property tax and INSURANCE … and if your flood policy premium skyrockets — how are you going to pay the premium. If you don’t pay the insurance premium then the Reverse Mortgage Company will foreclosure on you and you might lose all your other assets when the mortgage company sells it at a loss.
    Or what if you just need to sell Grandma and Grandpa’s house to pay for Assisted Living — good luck if it is Pre-Firm. Big Disaster is Coming Folks …

  • November 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    jack says:
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    Let’s just force everyone to buy it and if they don’t they can pay a tax…i mean a penalty. I bet FEMA could setup a website for say $600mil that would work like a champ. LOL

  • November 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    ZeroSum says:
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    I live in Florida and hear the complaining about BW constantly. I sympathize with those who enjoy living in a house on the water, or in a coastal community and the problems that this poses; however, it is simply not fair to have the majority of Americans who do not live in flood zones continue to subsidize those flood insurance rates. If that means the property values for homes on canals decline, then so be it. Otherwise, if you want to live in a $600k to $1mil home on a canal, then you should factor in the accurate cost of flood insurance.

    • November 8, 2013 at 9:09 am
      JACK says:
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      ZERO- your comment reflects how much you know about flood and BW- ZERO!

      • November 8, 2013 at 10:08 am
        Unjustified Flood Rates says:
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        Hey ZERO you obviously have no idea how BW is going to affect the majority of people on these coastlines. Most of the affected people dont live in $600k to $1mm homes. They live in $150k homes that were built in compliance of the flood regulations at the time of construction or were built prior to the NFIP being established. These are not the rich people the federal government is making them out to be. These are the people who clean their homes, work in grocery stores, banks etc. These people have no way to pay these rates and they will lose their homes. The NFIP is a corrupt program that needs to be eliminated.

    • January 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm
      John says:
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      Dear ZeroSum,
      I live in a modest home purchased last year for $190,000. I do not live on the waterfront, a canal, beach, river, lake, stream, pond or any other body of water (I have a small pool)Last year my flood insurance was $1650.00 for minimal coverage. I am willing to accept some out of pocket risk/cost. This year the renewal price is $8700.00.
      That is more than I pay for my mortgage (principal + interest)
      That is a more than 500% increase with no guarantee it wont go higher.
      Not everyone who lives in a flood zone pays for insurance, but they are all covered. You might be one of those people, in which case I am subsidizing you. Check it out before you complain about “it’s simply not fair”.

  • November 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm
    Bill Price says:
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    I built the first Cond in NC in the 1970′s initially, with no NFIP standards.
    We sited buildings back min. 150′from MHW and 10′ASL min.
    Have never had a claim.
    Later, we did get prefirm Ins. rates.
    AGAIN, have NEVER had a flood claim.
    After storms, I ride down east and see many many homes and mobile homes built low, repeatedly replacing insl. HAC / Carpets / furniture etc.. at the same elevation, or some raise the structure on maximum cost absurdly high foundations. ( Must be NFIP funded.)
    Reading CBO and OMB reports, I see :
    - NFIP Paying for people without Ins. (Unfair, and no accurate accounting.)
    - No Reserves were built in NFIP. ( Unfair, But no accounting.)
    - Sending annual Surplus to the General Fund. ( Unfair, But no accounting.)
    - Obscene Commissions and Fees paid to Insurance Co’s/
    ( Maybe as high as 50% or 60%. Reprehensible, But no accounting.)
    - Repetitive Flood claims, with no rational mitigation.
    So with BW-12, responsible development will be forced to pay to rebuild and repair uninsured and insured irresponsible development, ins rates will skyrocket,and the Ins.Co’s will make more millions.
    Even with these problems, NC has been actually positive. I expect that if there were:
    - some rational mitigation of repeat claims
    - Uninsured property didn’t get rebuilt.
    - Ins Co. payments were reasonable.
    - Reserves were built.
    NC would be very well fixed.
    Bill Price PKS- NC

  • November 24, 2013 at 10:43 am
    K Roccaforte says:
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    How about homes in areas where fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, windstorms, or even sinkholes occur. Should all these people pack up and move? Natural disasters or not predictable, but insurance companies are, they will continue to have record profits year after year. The problem with the new rates is the accuracy of the new maps, seems when challenged the data is not all accurate. The cost factor to get accurate data is not affordable in communities. There have been successful appeals which proves this and FEMA agrees, but that burden is on each entity. Makes me feel if data is not accurate there should be more study before destroying entire communities. Homes built in the last 30 years were in complete compliance and not subsidized and will no longer be in compliance with new maps. This includes homes built 2 years ago. Need to postpone BW12.

  • November 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    Dianna says:
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    I own a home that I bought for my daughter to live in – she wants to buy this house and have her own mortgage. The house is 6.3ft above sea level – I paid July 2013 $775/yr for Flood Ins. If she buys this house the flood insurance premium FOR ONLY ONE YEAR WILL GO TO ALMOST $8000.00 – THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! This old house was built in 1967 BEFORE FEMA EVEN EXISTED! Their has always been flood insurance premiums paid by previous owners – I AM OUTRAGED – HOW DARE ELECTED POLITICIANS COME UP WITH THIS KIND OF CRAP! All out cities were originally built around WATER for; TRANSPORTATION – COMMUNICATION – TO USE WATER FOR POWER – SAWMILLS – GRISTMILLS- IRRAGATION – FISHING AND TRADE! The top 5 populated cities in America are ALL LOCATED ON OR CLOSE TO WATER! Biggert and Waters should be charged with EXTORSION – Flood Ins is MANDATED BY FINANCE COMPANIES AND BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE ARE RAPING MILLIONS OF AMERICANS! It’s not like you can just pick up a house and move it somewhere else – SOMEWHERE? WHERE? All parts of our country could be involved in a FLOOD – HELL THE GRAND CANYON WAS FORMED BECAUSE OF FLOODING – HELL GOD FLOODED THE EARTH ONCE – I am OUTRAGED and somebody has to STOP IDIOTS LIKE BIGGERT AND WATERS!

    • November 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm
      Kim says:
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      I feel your pain. Here in NJ, its the same story. Please join our fight!

  • December 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    Dee says:
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    I once heard a speaker talking about this problem and he made a profounding statement. It went something like this: America is the only country with flood insurance. In other countries, like Canada, instead of providing this insurance they just don’t build in areas that are prone to flooding. Huh?!?! What a novel idea!!

  • January 3, 2014 at 10:52 am
    chuck says:
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    FEMA pays for flooding, tornado’s, straight line winds mud slides snow storms etc…. if every home owners policy paid a small one time a year sir charge and less money was wasted by FEMA and the funds aren’t robbed like SS was the debt would be paid in five years. FEMA even pays the deductible when a disaster is declared on insured homes. This bill will have a long lasting effect on the economy and housing market even if they cancel the entire bill, people have seen the future and homes will have no equity or resalable value. Most people this law effects are decent middle class people that have paid their bills worked hard for someone to come and pull the rug out from under their feet say they are sorry but your entire life investment is worthless now and oh by the way you cant afford to live here any longer. This is going to effect the homes that aren’t in the floodplains also it will decrease the property values for the entire neighborhood, if one side of the street is in the floodplain and the other is not it is still going to decrease the values of the homes that aren’t.

  • January 13, 2014 at 11:18 am
    Bill Price says:
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    To make all this completely confusing////
    CRS Congressional Report on NFIP presented un-totaled numbers of Premiums and Payments.
    We totaled the Columns ..
    Total Premiums $46 billion – Total Payments $40.5 billion
    = $5.5 Billion Surplus thru 12/31/2011 .
    The Report goes on to say that the Fund is $17.75 billion in debt to the Treasury thru June 30 2012 .
    Why the report is for different time frames, or how it went from $5.5 Billion surplus to $17.75 billion deficit in 6 months is unclear.
    Bill Price USLandAlliance.US

    Source: Congressional Research Service
    NFIP: Status and Remaining Issues for Congress
    Feb 6, 2013
    Page 16

  • January 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm
    patrick wisman says:
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    We are retired West Virginia school teachers who live in the family home place which happens to be in a designated flood zone. We carry minimal flood insurance at $992.00 per year and understand that our premium will increase to $4400.00 next year. This has placed us in a precarious position. Our home has lost its value due to the Bigget-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.,and because of this bill we can no longer afford to carry the insurance. A major crisis in our life would be financially devastating. The four year moratorium is a major step in being able to study and provide a solution to the issue that will be beneficial to everyone.

  • February 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm
    Mountain Bill says:
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    What really needs to happen with the FEMA flood insurance program is those that live in Coastal Areas and those that live inland along riverine areas should be in two totally seperate programs….Prior to Biggert Waters those that lived in Riverine areas were paying in 6 times in insurance what FEMA was paying out for damages in riverine areas. What is breaking the bank are those properties being damaged along the coasts….and when I say “damage” it isn’t necessarily flooding….When wave action and wind blows a multi-story structure off its foundation it is totalled and FEMA calls this a total flood loss…In West Virginia where I live we don’t have wave action and wind that will blow our 3 story houses down…FEMA is trying to get into our pockets too…90 year old structures in our town…never had damages….Go to a beach near you and see if you can find a big stretch of beach that have never had damages….Why are middle class folks being hammered by this monstrosity of a law to pay for the rich to keep building beach houses?

    • February 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm
      Bill Price says:
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      North Carolina
      $2 billion Surplus State.
      New Orleans
      Rebuilt houses below Sea Level,
      No Flood Insurance , No Flood insurance required.
      NO ACCOUNTING OF TOTAL REBUILDING in New Orleans.
      Makes you wonder….
      Bill Price



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