Flood Insurance Rates on the Rise - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Flood Insurance Rates on the Rise

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Flood insurance rates could be making a dramatic climb for homeowners along the Mouse River.

Federal legislation is already in place to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to re-map flood-prone areas in the country - and drastically increase rates.

Jennifer Thorgramson tells us what that could mean for flood insurance policies in the Mouse River Valley.

America's flood insurance program is in the red --- by billions of dollars.

The debt began with Hurricane Katrina in 2004 and has continued to grow.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was passed by congress in 2012 to resolve the debt --- but it comes at a price.

(Barb Fitzpatrick, FEMA Region VIII, Senior Floodplain Specialist) "Rounded up, I would say anywhere, on a ($250,000 coverage of a structure) could probably run from $2,000 a year up to $6,600 or round up to $7,000."

A flood insurance policy running anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 a year --- that's five, ten, even 15 times the current rate for a policy with $250,000 structure and $100,000 contents coverage.

Today, a similar policy is about $400.

Under Biggert-Waters, no longer will flood insurance be a flat rate.

The National Flood Insurance Program goal is to have each structure rated which will require new flood maps.

(Barb Fitzpatrick, FEMA Region VIII, Senior Floodplane Specialist) "We'll be brought into the A Zone. That zone is also mandated by federal government, if you have a federally backed loan, that you must have flood insurance on your structure."

Most of Minot has been in Zone X - also known as the 500-year floodplain or low-risk.

The new maps will show the Mouse River Valley in Zone A - also known as the 100-year floodplain or high-risk.

Fitzpatrick says the new maps are expected in October of next year.

Before the new maps, Biggert-Waters calls for a 20 percent increase on all new and renewed policies.

(Barb Fitzpatrick, FEMA Region VIII, Senior Floodplain Specialist) "There are four triggers, but the big ones are if they sell their home or if they let their policy lapse. It will be written as a brand new policy and that's when we need know what the true actuarially rating is on that structure."

A 20 percent increase now, and the possibility of rates climbing as high as $7,000 a year for what will become mandatory flood coverage.

In Minot, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

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