Risk Map 2.0, FEMA’s new attempt to solve the national flood insurance problem in the United States, hasn’t started off on the right foot for many on the Guif Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. Many homeowners are finding out their flood insurance rates are going to be rising and it’s not just nickels and dimes. Some renewals in Metro New Orleans are going from $700/a year premiums to $11,000. FEMA has capped the amount a premium can increase to 18% a year, but with compounding increases these premiums could put some homeowners under water and unable to pay such exorbitant costs.
Craig Mirambell Jr., CEO of Mirambell Realty, says, “The problem I see is that many homeowners aren’t even aware of what’s to come because the increases won’t happen until their renewals hit starting in April. Many homes without policies that are being sold now are facing the immediate increase as there is no incremental increase if the property did not carry flood insurance previously.”. The rate hikes will surely affect many Metro New Orleanians as the new Risk Map 2.0 heavily relies on data such as proximity to bodies of water but doesn't take into account as largely if your home is built inside the flood protection of the levees. “A lot of the characteristics we are used to with flood insurance are no longer as big of factors in reducing premiums. For example, flood zones, height above base flood elevation, and if your home has ever flooded previously are no longer what FEMA considers a priority in their new pricing determination.”, Craig added.
Another reason many homeowners aren’t aware of these potential increases is possibly an inattention to the new Risk Map 2.0. This could be attested to New Orleanians still recovering from Hurricane Ida. There are still blue roofs around the city and many are still in debate with their homeowners carriers. Flood Insurance just sent at the top of the minds right now for those renovating still.” We can’t forget that homeowners insurance prices are going through the roof on the heels of Ida and its aftermath. Many are seeing their carriers leave the state or are being faced with hurricane deductibles up to 5%, reminiscent of post-Katrina. The one-two-punch of both rising premiums will not be warmly welcomed, but just like hurricanes, we seem to resiliently get through them each time.
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