Flood Insurance: Is Congress Doing Enough To Fight Rising Costs?

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency rolled out new flood maps to show which Americans live in areas more prone to flooding and therefore require flood insurance coverage.

The map sent flood insurance rates through the roof in certain locations.

Jack Crook and his wife are having to cope with their insurance costs jumping from $350 per year to $1,800 per year.

Crook called the 500 percent increase “outrageous”. The idea of seeing rates jump so much due to a risk that is “nine tenths of one percent”.

FEMA insists that Crook lives in a high risk location. With high risk comes higher insurance costs.

Skeptical, Crook plans to get his home surveyed by an engineer. Should his home prove to be out of the danger zone, he fully intends to appeal FEMA’s findings.

As thousands of American families balk at the sharp increase in flood insurance rates, Congress is doing what it can to level off the cost for homeowners.

The Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed into law by President Obama back in March.

It was meant to offer relief to Americans who saw steep increases in their flood insurance rates.The legislation also led to refunds for those deemed to have overpaid for insurance premiums.

Said FEMA spokesman Rafael Lemaitre, "These reforms slow some flood insurance rate increases and offers relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood insurance premium increases in 2013 and early 2014."

The affected persons will have seen a greater than 18 percent rate hike.

Though the majority of Americans did not see a rate increase steeper than 18 percent, it’s believed that upwards of 1 million of the 5.5 million flood insurance policy holders will receive a check in the near future.

With nearly a fifth of all American flood insurance customers negatively affected by rising costs, Congress is hoping that a high-deductible option will help make flood insurance affordable for Americans who require it and those who do not, but wish to err on the side of caution.

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