Flood insurance rates are going be unaffordable unless we act now!

Greetings Everyone-

I wanted to provide you all with an update and an action plan with 
regards to the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.  
Unless this bill is dramatically changed or rescinded, our flood 
insurance rates will rise dramatically.

Zach Cattell, a member of our community, wrote a very good document 
about this act and I'm including it below.  In addition to that, I'm 
including a sample letter that you can modify to send to your 
legislatures listed below.  Please take the time to act on this.  
If you don't, it may cost you your home.  Also, please send these 
letters electronically if at all possible, as snail mail is just that 
in this day of poisoned letters. A physical letter going to Capitol 
Hill can take over a month to get through.

Thanks for you time,

Brad Barcom
Rocky Ripple Town Council President

From Zach:

Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy put unprecedented stress on 
the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) over the last several 
years, causing billions in damages and losses to the NFIP.  The NFIP 
is the only source of flood insurance for anyone living in a flood 
zone, coastal or inland.  Federal subsidies for certain policies, 
about 20% of all flood insurance rate payers, have been in effect 
for decades.  The Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 
(BW12) begins to take some of those subsidies away immediately 
(businesses and non-primary residences), and for primary residences 
upon resale of the property, upon lapse of policy, or when the Flood 
Insurance Rate Maps are revised. Under federal law, those with 
federally backed mortgages in flood zones are required to buy flood 

As of October 1, 2013, BW12 institutes a rating system for flood 
insurance that utilizes a property’s relationship to Base Flood 
Elevation (BFE) for purposes of determining risk of loss and flood 
insurance premium.  BFE is the 1% chance of exceedance – or said 
another way, the chance that a flood will hit that level is 1%.  
This is also the same thing as a “100-year flood.”  Some properties 
under this new system will see decreases in rates because the 
property’s lowest rated level is higher than BFE even though they 
are in a flood zone.   However if a property’s lowest rated level 
is at or below BFE, the premium will rise substantially.

For those that live below BFE, BW12 has a significant negative 
impact on single family primary residences, which are most 
working-family’s largest asset.  BW12 immediately devalues the 
home itself due to the cost of flood insurance to a prospective buyer.

•For example, a home that is 4 feet below BFE in a river flood zone 
(zone AE) pays about $1,750 per year for $250k of structural 
coverage (the maximum amount of coverage you can buy).  Under the 
BW12, the cost of that insurance is estimated to be more than 
$10,000 per year

•During the week of October 14th, 2013, a $112,000 property in 
Indianapolis, IN had an accepted offer of purchase, however the 
buyer backed out when they were told their flood insurance premium 
would cost $7,000 per year.

Better Solutions Must Be Found and AFFORDABILITY Is Central To Any 
Most if not all of the attention to this matter focuses on coastal 
areas where Katrina and Sandy had the most impact and the debate 
rages as to how those communities will be rebuilt.  However, this 
law also impacts inland homes and flood insurance premiums, and is 
terrible public policy.

While it may be a desired federal policy for building to stop in 
high risk flood areas, or at least building at or below BFE to stop, 
it is not equitable to those families currently living in flood 
zones to be financially devastated due to risks outside of their 
control.  In addition, real estate markets will freeze in these 
areas and homes may be abandoned.  Establishing flood insurance 
rates that are unaffordable is no way to provide fiscal stability 
to the NFIP.

Support H.R.3370 and S.1610 to delay
Biggert Waters and Require Affordability Studies by FEMA and 
Congressional Review of the FEMA Study

Representative Andre Carson
2453 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C., 20515
Call:  202-225-4011
Flood Insurance Staff: Andrea Martin
Email letters at: http://rockyripple.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ad15075436e621ba94edfd1f1&id=0151fd35f7&e=2e04407e1a

Senator Dan Coats
493 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC, 20510
Call: 202-224-5623
Flood Insurance Staff: Kate Taylor
Email letters at: http://rockyripple.us5.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=ad15075436e621ba94edfd1f1&id=35083c1282&e=2e04407e1a

Senator Joe Donnelly
720 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Call: 202-224-4814
Flood Insurance Staff: Nick Cantino
Email letters at: http://rockyripple.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ad15075436e621ba94edfd1f1&id=b72483c196&e=2e04407e1a


Feel free to cut, paste and modify so you can make the letter your own.

Dear Representative Carson, Senator Coats and Senator Donnelly,
I urge you to co-sponsor and support passage of H.R.3370 and S.1610, 
respectively, to delay the devastating impact that the Biggert 
Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is having on my community 
and home.  Over the past several weeks I have learned that this law 
will require unaffordable premiums to be paid for flood insurance 
for newly issued policies, or even on my existing policy should I 
sell my home, if my policy lapses, or if Flood Insurance Rate Maps 
are revised.
This law is financially devastating to my community and my family. 
Our homes are now worth next to nothing since any prospective buyer 
of any home that requires flood insurance will not pay the 
unaffordable rate.  Just last month a home in our neighborhood was 
set to sell for $112,000 until the buyer found out the annual flood 
insurance premium would be more than $7,000!!!  The flood insurance 
programs own materials say that a flood insurance policy for a 
home that is 4 feet below base flood elevation would be more than 
$10,000 per year for the maximum amount of coverage.
It is simply poor policy and extremely short sighted to lay these 
unaffordable costs at the feet of individual taxpayers.  Ruining 
the American dream of home ownership and destroying the value of 
most family’s largest asset is not a path toward prosperity or 
stability for the flood insurance program.
Biggert Waters must be delayed and more affordable solutions 
found to permit the flood insurance program to continue without 
ruining the lives and homes of so many.


Denizen of Rocky Ripple