Flood insurance policy changes affect those buying homes in floodplain

OLIVE BRANCH, IL (KFVS) - Some big changes are on the way for home and property owners in flood prone areas.

It's all part of FEMA's Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, passed by congress and signed by the president into last year that could leave homeowners paying for a $24 billion deficit in the system.

Starting on October 1, some policy premiums could jump as much as 25 percent. It's leaving many in Olive Branch worrying about what's going to happen to their flood policies.

Homes built before the flood insurance program will be grand fathered in, but there will no longer be subsidies for rental property and commercial property in flood areas.

Many people all over the country are concerned about what's going to happen to their flood insurance policies. People in Olive Branch gathered to hear an SITU professor talk about the changes.

"Some of the changes kick in when, for example, a home is sold," said Nicholas Pinter, SIUC professor of Geology. "A primary residence, at least as far as we understand the law right now, will be protected. People will maintain their old insurance rate, but the instant they sell it, the new buyer takes on the potentially much higher insurance rate."

Pinter said primary homes and residences are still going to be protected, at least for awhile, but any rental and commercial property is going to see their rate increase in phases rapidly by 20 plus percent per year until they reach their new levels. He said that's a lot of concern for a lot of people.

Those changes can also affect the equity you have in your home. If you live in a floodplain, you should talk to your insurance agent about these changes.

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