Homeowners Could See Flood Insurance Premium Increases [AUDIO]
Flood insurance premiums could be on the rise for some homeowners living in vulnerable locations, as more changes to the National Flood Insurance Program go into effect October 1st.
Since January, second homeowners and anyone renewing their policy was subject to seeing higher premiums of their home was in a designated flood prone area and their home's construction was not designated flood resistant.
FEMA Region 2 Insurance Program Specialist Steven Ardito says the next phase will include businesses as and commercial property owners, as well as policy holders considered a "repetitive loss."
"Where we paid out more money in flood insurance payments than the house is worth," explains Ardito, adding "so if we've given two or three payments totaling $100,000 and the house is only worth $80,000, you're now going to be losing your subsidies and paying a full risk rate."
The changes are part of the Biggert Waters Act of 2012, which removed subsidies for policy holders living in flood-prone areas as a way to balance the budget of the financially ailing National Flood Insurance Program.
According to FEMA, 20 percent of those with flood insurance are subsidized by others. In New Jersey, however, that number is 37 percent.
"New Jersey's coastline and river have been a good place to live for many years, we have homes from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, 50s, and 60s, that are still habituated."
Homeowners will see increases of 25 percent to their annual premiums and "they will continue seeing 25 percent annual increases until they achieved a full risk rate or actuarial rate," says Ardito.
Ardito says the increases could go on for several years, but it isn't known exactly until the homeowner submits an elevation certificate. He says to avoid the increases in premiums, homeowners should mitigate; either raising the home, filling in the basement, or fulfilling the standards put in place for their property.