You are probably aware that flood insurance rates have risen significantly in areas that are more prone to them. Ever since this began, concerned homeowners have begun to grumble and express their concerns, and are unfortunately getting a deaf ear. Indeed, the Biggert-Waters Flood Reform is meant to be advantageous, but what about the average homeowner? Is it really all that beneficial for them? Not really because their premiums have been increased at rates that are more than double.
What about condo owners? Their rates have also increased, right? Wrong. Condo owners are still paying the same amounts as before. The increase in rates is only for the single home owners to pay.
A recent survey reports that condo owners are actually paying reduced premiums. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA has claimed that the flood maps are all wrong and have reduced the premium rates for condos in some of the coastal areas. Is that fair? Probably not.
Recently, there was a case of a condo, which is located right on the beach. The annual premiums of this condo crossed $100,000 and the association probably had issues with paying this amount. What did they do? They hired a consultant who stated that vegetation and dunes around the condo protected it. Previously, these were not there, but the condo was still classified as VE, which is the riskiest flood area.
So what did FEMA do? This will shock you even more. They changed the classification to AE, and dropped the premiums to just $9,000 annually. Yes, that is a very significant reduction.
FEMA states that it receives over 30,000 requests every year which ask for a reclassification. Nearly 90% of these are approved. So what does this indicate? The flood maps may not be that accurate, and maybe it is time that they were revised again. After all, there are so many experts who say that many properties should have even been classified as AE. If that is so, why are they still paying high premiums?
So while homeowners suffer, the condo owners enjoy and the officials just sit and watch. They should deal with the situation soon enough and offer better rates to all homeowners. Perhaps a revision of the flood maps can make this possible.