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U.S. flood insurance rates to rise for 77% of policyholders -study By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of flood damaged buildings are seen as U.S. President Joe Biden (not pictured) inspects the damage from Hurricane Ida on the Marine One helicopter during an aerial tour of communities in Laffite, Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Lafourche


By Ross Kerber

(Reuters) – Changes to the main U.S. flood insurance program will raise rates for 77% of policyholders, according to a new study issued on Tuesday, although property owners in some poorer neighborhoods will see premiums decrease.

LendingTree Inc, a financial services company that offers QuoteWizard and other products reviewed changes in prices for approximately 5,000,000 participants of its National Flood Insurance Program.

New premiums under the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Risk Rating 2.0”, which took effect October 1, will now be based upon a property’s worth, flood risk, and other factors rather than just the home’s elevation.

Meant to account for climate-change-driven shifts like increasing flood frequency, the new plans also will make the program more equitable, said Nick VinZant, QuoteWizard senior research analyst.

VinZant explained in an interview, “Now smaller, less-valued homes and communities aren’t going be funding mansions anymore.”

Flooding losses will increase as a result of the worsening weather effects from climate change. Recently, flooding has been caused by storms like Hurricane Ida. It affected areas from Louisiana to Tennessee and New York City.

FEMA stated that it wanted to distribute premiums equally among all policyholders with these changes. VinZant stated that 3.3 million of the approximately 5 million program participants will have their monthly payments increase to $10 and 3199 will experience an additional $100 per month. He also said that monthly premiums for 196,000 will fall by at least $100.

FEMA representatives didn’t immediately respond to the request for comment. FEMA representatives did not immediately comment on the study. The flood insurance program had $1.3 trillion of coverage as of April but was losing money.

The changes proposed by FEMA have been met with concern in Congress, including from Texas and Louisiana representatives. FEMA has asked them to delay the rates increase to reduce the cost of policyholders.

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