The Norman Transcript

Editorials

March 25, 2014

Add insurance to rising costs list

NORMAN — Add flood insurance to the list of costs expected to increase for Oklahoma homeowners this year. The federal government says approximately 7,000 property owners will see higher rates.

It’s not because of continual flooding claims in the state. It has to do with the National Flood Insurance Program being billions of dollars in debt. That’s the program that pays out flood claims for areas where building was allowed before there were rules on such locations.

The flood insurance is subsidized by the federal government, but the premiums collected from property owners haven’t been enough to right the ship. Some parcels will rise 25 percent a year and others 18 percent.

Additionally, the federal government redrew flood boundary lines and sent updated digital insurance maps to the city in 2008. At the time, only about 350 properties were on the list. That number increased substantially since then.

Most homeowners were already expecting increases in property insurance this year. The massive damages brought on by last spring’s tornadoes resulted in a significant number of claims in the state.

The Associated Press reports that in 2012 Congress passed a law requiring more than 1 million homeowners to pay the true cost of the insurance. Those increases were slowed by legislation passed by Congress and signed into law this past week.

 

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