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The dilemma

December 15, 2013

The recent article in the Sun-Gazette, although it sheds some light on the current dilemma of flood insurance, does not give an overview of the dilemma realtors, buyers, sellers and lenders are......

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(27)

mikekerstetter

Dec-15-13 4:14 AM

Cami, I feel your pain, and theirs. But what you are asking is for the rest of us to share that pain. The National Flood Insurance program needs to be self sustaining.

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MimLogue

Dec-15-13 5:50 AM

If I am in the 100 year flood plain that says I would flood once in 100 years,to what damage? I have a 3 story home, I may lose my furnace and water heater and electric panel and maybe some carpet what is that damage $25,000 would be pushing it, so I am paying 9,000$ for 100 years that 900,000$ how many times are these actuaries expecting my home to flood??I have been here since 1980 have never had a drop of water? and paid $30,000 so far,Times that by 4 buildings, these actuaries are expecting 3.6 million dollars in damage on my small street?these are the figures that make me wonder??

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MimLogue

Dec-15-13 5:53 AM

Mike Kerstetter Cami, I feel your pain, and theirs. But what you are asking is for the rest of us to share that pain. The National Flood Insurance program needs to be self sustaining.

"Self sustaining" sounds a little porky to me.

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Capricorn1

Dec-15-13 5:54 AM

I disagree Mike, what she is suggesting is exactly what I suggested yesterday. A systematic approach should have been done to ensure each property was handled separately going by actual value, past flooding history and amount of damage received if any. How many of these properties were included in these expanding flood zones that have never been flooded or once in 100 years? How many were flooded with only minimal damage? Yes, people need to be protected, but let's make it fair.

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spike2

Dec-15-13 6:05 AM

I agree with Cap. All the properties should be viewed individually. How many of the 10% are located directly on the river or creek banks or in areas that flood every 10 years? how many are vacation homes or cabins? What happens to those who are flooded from Grafius Run?

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CaveFelem

Dec-15-13 7:54 AM

Ms. Rooney also brings up another excellent point. Even though your property might not be in the flood plain, and you may not be required or need flood insurance, you probably share a tax base with people who do.

Think about what would happen if 1/4 of the properties in your township go into foreclosure or people just walk away. Your taxes will undoubtedly go up to compensate.

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eriklatranyi

Dec-15-13 8:16 AM

So, people who were getting a free ride (owners, realtors, landlords) are now complaining because the free ride is ending.

If you are required to buy flood insurance, but have not had a flood in 50 years, you can have your home status re-examined and moved out of the flood plain map.

It is not too different from disputing valuation for property taxes.

It is time we move people away from flood-prone areas by using market forces.

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mikekerstetter

Dec-15-13 8:24 AM

Cap and Spike, if they can get taken off the flood map let them do it. If they can't, then they are responsible for the cost of the flood insurance. There is no reason that I should be paying their flood insurance through federal taxes. It might sound harsh, but it is what it is.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Dec-15-13 8:44 AM

The government never should have been involved with it to begin with and they need to stay out of declaring who is supposed to pay flood insurance and how much they pay. This should be an independent negotiation between a homeowner and an insurance company. And yes the mortgage holder is the owner. Buying any insurance is a risk management issue and gambling who will win and who will loose.

Insurance companies are good at walking that fine line between charging people enough to cover the statistical occurrences but not too much that they won't buy it so they will try to figure out which homes are riskier and which are not. Government should not be sticking it's nose into it.

*

If tax base rates decrease in the flood plains, they will increase outside the flood plain because more people will move there. That is the proper fix and market adjustment.

The realtors want to ditch property taxes for schools only and increase state income/sales taxes in its place.

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spike2

Dec-15-13 10:09 AM

Bottom line we all pay to live where we live. many of us pay far higher real estate, school and county taxes in Williamsport. We live in areas that do not flood. if you live in a flood area you will pay more just as we pay more in other areas. i agree with Erik. We need to get people out of flood areas. Occasional disasters are a bit different from areas we know will repeat over and over again.

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eriklatranyi

Dec-15-13 11:32 AM

Thanks, Spike!

I also think we need to do the same for hurricane areas.

Homes along the shore are expensive, but still do not reflect the risk inherent in a hurricane making landfall.

Cost shifting has to stop.

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Alsever

Dec-15-13 12:29 PM

The local realtors never mention any concern whatsoever for the safety of the people who will be flooded. All they want is cheap insurance so they can encourage people to lose their possessions and maybe their lives in a flood. With their lack of concern for the lives of fellow Americans, they should join the Taliban...or the Republican Party.

Also, FIRM Maps are like the Bible--only a guide. You can get them changed. Anyone bother to look at the "N" value used in their hydraulic calculations? And talking about one foot of water is meaningless unless you tell us what the velocity of the water is on the FIRM documents. Did you read those documents?

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mikekerstetter

Dec-15-13 2:28 PM

Either I, or others, are confused on the issue of flood insurance.

My understanding is that FEMA administers/sells the National Flood Insurance. It's my understanding that no private company will sell it.

It's also my understanding that the Government/FEMA doesn't require anyone to purchase flood insurance, the banks/mortgage companies decide who has to carry it.

The Government/FEMA, through surveys and such, determines who is in a flood plain and what risk they have of being flooded.

Is that correct?

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BornHere

Dec-15-13 3:21 PM

Mike, check out FloodSmartdotgov, there's about 90 private insurance companies that offer flood insurance to property owners.

You are correct about the banks/mortgage comp. they do require flood insurance on a property in the flood zones, they must protect their interest.

When we first applied for a VA Home Loan VA has rules where they will not let you purchase a home in the 100 year flood zones, they also are protecting their interest.

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RealAmerican

Dec-15-13 4:22 PM

Cami A. Rooney

President

West Branch Valley Association of Realtors

Oh no this person does not have a financial interest in these policies

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mikekerstetter

Dec-16-13 3:45 AM

Bornhere, thanks. The one thing that I am looking for is who is 'backing' the insurance program, the companies, or the Government.

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USABorn

Dec-16-13 3:50 AM

eriklatranyi - 11:32 AM "I also think we need to do the same for hurricane areas."

What about the areas in CA for example, that are prone to mud slides and forest fires. Where million dollar and multi-million dollar homes are built, rebuilt and rebuilt. These areas could be controlled easily.

A little harder would be the mighty Mississippi flooding which covers huge parts of many states. Or tornado alley.

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USABorn

Dec-16-13 3:55 AM

Go to floodsmartDOTgov and learn about flood insurance. What you are reading here is not factual.

It should be noted, renters can also get flood insurance at a pretty decent cost.

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BornHere

Dec-16-13 7:53 AM

Mike I asked my sister your question and she said, "Flood insurance is all government, 100% government".

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leaningright

Dec-16-13 2:55 PM

If in doubt with your location you can have a surveyor get an elevation on your property and get an elevation certificate. This certificate can be used to get your location updated on the FEMA flood maps. I did this and got my flood insurance lowered. It is a process and it takes time and patience but I suceeded, maybe you could too.

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jeffsmith

Dec-16-13 4:13 PM

The FNIP is a set of regulations about flood insurance. Private companies provide flood insurance in abidance with those regulations.

Any FDIC lender is required by law to require flood insurance for flood properties. This protects the financial system from loses due to natural disasters.

It is ironic that the instrument used to insulate the financial system may actually serve to harm it.

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MimLogue

Dec-17-13 11:49 AM

this is another sink the ship while I am on it move by government The implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, and the rate increases that will occur will be important to all and can have a serious negative impact on the health of the states and nations economy.

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MimLogue

Dec-17-13 11:52 AM

Marino voted for this he needs to fight to fix it. He is being bombarded by calls, Jeff Wheeland want to run for state Rep he needs to prove he can handle this crisis first!

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rmiller

Dec-17-13 8:14 PM

eric,

I agree with your comment about hurricane areas. Any info. about if persons living "beach front " luxury, re-building again and again?

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rmiller

Dec-17-13 8:18 PM

"Also, FIRM Maps are like the Bible--only a guide"

And here all along, I could have sworn by your posts, you are an atheist. Why not use Webster's instead of the Bible? I'm impressed...even a capitol "B".

I do agree with Mike's first post.

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