“…which over time could prompt homeowners to vacate the most at-risk areas.”
The “plan” allows the private insurers to siphon off the low risk insurance policies, leaving the federal government with the debt laden ones. Ultimately FEMA is left with greater debt.
If flood insurance were profitable, we would not have created a National Flood Insurance Program. Now that some can see profit around the edges, they want to skim those policies off, leaving a larger unfunded burden for the NFIP.
Perhaps we need to learn a bit from the “six months of rain in twelve hours” that hit Wisconsin and realize these are natural disasters that affect the nation. While insurance for them is important, it should be one that covers wind, rain, flooding, tornadoes, wild fire, volcanic activity, earthquakes and mud slides. Create one risk pool for all. Or, maybe just realize the nation has an economic interest in fast recovery from natural disasters and plan accordingly in the federal budget.
We will continue to monitor the update to the National Flood Insurance Program. We are working with Representative Tim Whelan to set up a meeting with our Congressman and Senators on this reauthorization.
As reported in this article, many of the proposals will dramatically increase costs to homeowners located in the flood zone. Given actual amounts Dennis residents have received in the past from the NFIP, alternatives are a must.
We have people considering lifting their homes for flood zone compliance. This video will give you an idea of what is involved. Just shared for informational purposes.
We are going to have to watch this. Forgiving the NFIP debt, and Congress taking responsibility for disasters over a particular value, would level the field with tornadic or wildfire disasters. This is not being proposed. Raising coverage to $500,000, without any guarantee that a policyholder will be able to recover that value misleads the consumer.
As we have a rather vested interest in this, we will add this to the Economic Development Committee agenda.
A not too rosy picture of what may be to come for homeowners in the flood zone.
The Dennis Planning Board is bringing a Zoning Amendment to Town Meeting to remove some of the red tape involved in bringing existing structures up to flood zone elevation standards. The goal of the zoning amendment is to make it easier for existing non-conforming structures to be lifted to, or above, base flood elevation. The proposal allows existing non-conforming structures to be lifted to place the first floor up to three feet above Base Flood Elevation without the need to go before the Board of Appeals. Lifting a house higher than three feet, or reconstructing a house to be larger than the existing home (except for an allowed utility/laundry closet) will still require a visit to the Board of Appeals.
The goal of the amendment is to make it easier and quicker for existing homes to elevated before we get hit with a big storm. Additionally, the hope is that, with this change, it will be a quicker recovery after a big storm.
Looking at the newest FEMA flood insurance rates based upon the exposure of homes to flood waters, there can be big annual savings in flood insurance for lifting existing structures. A house that is exposed to three feet of flooding can expect to pay up to $7,279+ in annual flood insurance costs. A house built right at Base Flood Elevation can expect to pay $1,529+ annually and a house lifted to three feet above Base Flood Elevation might only pay about $350+ in annual flood insurance costs. (These costs do not include FEMA surcharges which might add about $150 to each of these amounts annually).
This zoning amendment will allow someone exposed to flooding to save between $1,200 and $7,000 annually on flood insurance.