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More to be done

March 30, 2014

Recently I read the two articles in the Sun-Gazette regarding the "fix" for the flood insurance debacle. As a member of the grassroots movement Stop FEMA Now (SFN)I felt I had to comment....

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Mar-31-14 9:18 AM

I hope the few houses that got damaged from the rain the other 2"+ of rain we got the other day thank us taxpayers for their subsidzes insurance.

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Mar-31-14 3:49 AM

Capricorn1-"I have a problem with legislation that raises premiums on 100% of the policies, when in fact only 20% of the properties were subsidized... They are scrambling to recoup billions of dollars..."

I'm not sure of your numbers, but I'll take them as correct. This is how insurance works. They charge everybody enough to cover all of their losses. Those at a greater risk pay more. If FEMA is losing billions annually to flood insurance claims, they aren't charging enough across the board. PA just happens to be one of the most highly subsided property states.

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Mar-30-14 12:52 PM

I have a problem with legislation that raises premiums on 100% of the policies, when in fact only 20% of the properties were subsidized. Especially since they have done nothing to reduce the waste, fraud and abuse within FEMA. The maps that are used are grossly in error and the program has been mismanaged since it's inception. Should rates be raised on the 20% that constantly file claims for damages? Of course. But no risk assessment is done on individual policies and rates are not being set going by these assessments. They are scrambling to recoup billions of dollars, much of it wasted, and they are going after as many people as they can regardless of their actual risk.

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Mar-30-14 12:33 PM

Author: I say call out the people who think they have a victory here. Give us their names. Clearly this problem isn't fixed.

However, my understanding is that the insurance costs were always high due to the risk. The only difference is, the taxpayer saw government subsidized rates and the fed picked up the rest of the tab. This doesn't seem fair. Should someone with a bad driving record get a government reduced auto insurance premium just to make it affordable?

The passed reform act gives property owners time now to figure out the next steps, it certainly doesn't fix the issues you face. It also makes your land and property less marketable if insurance premiums will be actual instead of subsidized.

Additionally, I don't buy your second property and business owner arguments. I can't imagine the average American can support 2 properties, let alone 1. Again, I don't believe the government should subsidize either property... but especially not the 2nd.

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Mar-30-14 9:21 AM

I wonder if those beautiful homes along the Potomac are being hit with 7X premiums. Or, is it just the little guy in a rural area? Those who live in flood prone areas need to pay more, but they should not be responsible for rebuilding FEMA. They should have insurance available on the open market like everyone else and not have it subsidized by the taxpayer. The rates should be set by the insurance companies, not the govt who can declare a home that has never flooded as being in a flood zone. Govt intervention created the problem, govt intervention cannot solve the problem.

That said, there are many who have benefited from reduced rates for many years even though they KNOW they are in a flood zone. There has to be some acknowledgement by those people that they have had a free ride for a long time.

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Mar-30-14 9:07 AM

If you don't want to pay flood insurance, pay off your mortgage! Why did you buy a place in the floodplain anyway?

Move to Mansfield--one of only four Municipalities in the state of Pa that has no private property in the floodplain and therefore has no Insurance requirements.

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Mar-30-14 8:23 AM

He'll claim his house is only worth $50,000 until the adjuster comes to write the $148,000 check

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Mar-30-14 8:03 AM

Cave, in Jeff Smead's case, he has known that he was in a flood zone since he bought the place. So have the vast majority of others. Now he'll come on and say he's only had one claim in 20 or so years, but the fact still remains that he is in a flood zone and the potential is quite real for structural flood damage.

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Mar-30-14 7:16 AM

Mike, "known flood zone" is the key here. The FEMA maps need to be realistically updated.

I put my home address into the FEMA flood risk website for fun, and it shows low to moderate risk. Let's just say if my home floods due to rising waters from the Susquehanna River, the entire valley would be under many, many feet of water. It makes no sense to me to be labeled low to moderate risk. More like "no risk", because if I flood, there will be nothing left to rebuild.

The program Biggert Waters seeks to repeal was instituted when I was a toddler. How many more of these programs are floating around out there that we really don't know about? I confess I had no idea.

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Mar-30-14 6:37 AM

Jeff Smead said:

"To have two different standards for second homeowners/businesses and primary homeowners is totally unfair... "

I find it humorous that the supporters of big government get outraged when that big government turns against them.

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Mar-30-14 6:02 AM

Jeff Smead-".... We ultimately want this manmade disaster, known as Biggert-Waters, overturned and repealed....."

The 'man made disaster' isn't the Biggart-Waters act, it is that so many people built homes in flood zones.

Jeff Smead-"To have two different standards for second homeowners/businesses and primary homeowners is totally unfair... "

So, it's not good enough for primary homes to be subsidized and actuary costs phased in over 10 to 12 years, everybody ought to remain on the flood insurance welfare system?

I'm still not understanding why I need to subsidize the flood insurance program. I purposely looked for a place far from any flood plains so I didn't have any risk of flooding on need of flood insurance. Call me uncaring, mean, selfish, whatever. But I don't feel the need to carry those who chose to move to and continue to live in a known flood zone.

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