Last Saturday Mike and Sharon Armstrong of Plans and More LLP presented information to just over 20 in attendance concerning flood insurance and how things will likely change in the near future.
Mike explained how change in the National Flood Insurance Program [NFIP], which was created in 1968 to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners, if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. In turn for that participation, flood insurance is made available to the town’s residents.
Over the years the NFIP has been changed and adjusted as a result of major disasters like hurricanes Katrina, and Sandy in recent years.
Sometime this summer FEMA is set to release new flood maps which could affect the flood insurance rates for property owners that are required to have or need to have flood insurance. Some of these rates are projected to be substantial due to new federal laws passed over the past couple of years. The Town of Kingston Springs has always restricted building homes in the regulated (100 year) floodplain, but new mapping may reclassify some existing homes by placing them in the regulated flood plain for the first time.
At Saturday’s meeting residents had the opportunity to review a map showing the flooded areas of 2010 and previous years in Kingston Springs. When the new flood maps are released, its possible that many residents will be unpleasantly surprised to find out that they are living now in what’s considered to be a flood plain.
Could it happen again? You bet it can, and Sharon Armstrong’s advice to all is “get flood insurance now”. If you get the insurance while your property is NOT in a flood way, the price is something less than $150 annually. If your property is listed in a flood plain when the new maps come out, that price will change drastically.
Flood insurance is issued by the NFIP through the homeowners’ insurance company, but is actually provided and regulated by FEMA. The insurance company has no control over the rates. Unfortunately some companies are assuring their policy holders that there will be no change to their policies. This cannot be determined until the new maps are released at the end of the summer.
The inundation map that was on hand at Saturday’s meeting is available for review at City Hall in Kingston Springs.