Flood insurance rates

I recently became aware of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 while trying to sell my home located in a flood fringe area. Several years ago I had a Elevation Certificate that indicated that the 1st floor of my home was above the flood plain. Two weeks ago, I had to re-survey the home for a possible sale and due to the new FEMA flood maps it now sits in the flood plain which requires that flood insurance be maintained on the home if there is a mortgage.

Currently my premium is $836 per year. As of Oct. 1, the premium for a new homeowner on this home will be $4,927 per year, amounting to an additional cost of $410 per month to the homeowner. However, the Federal Government (in their infinite wisdom) decided to help the homeowners that have owned their homes prior to July 6, 2012 by only increasing their current rates 20-25 percent per year until they reach the “level of the true risk” for homeowners in a flood plain, all others will be required to pay the full amount.

After contacting Congressman Tom Marino’s office regarding this matter, I was informed that he had voted to support this bill as the NFIP was $18 billion in debt, of which $15 billion was due to hurricanes Katrina & Rita and “it was of an urgent nature” (apparently they needed to rebuild New Orleans below sea level again). This bill was voted upon and approved before a study was done to determine the effects on the housing market. Try to sell a home that is now in a flood zone that has not had water since 1972 or even been in a flood, this will require flood insurance that will be better than 50% of your mortgage.

With so many properties located along rivers and streams in Lycoming County those property owners should be outraged that a Congressman who is a resident of Lycoming County hasn’t stood up for them on a matter as important as the effects of this on the local housing market. I am hoping that Congressman Marino will take a closer look at this issue and lead the charge to help all of the property owners nationwide that this affects. Until then, does anyone want to buy a home?

Glenn McConnell


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom