UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Sandy's continuing toll: Rising tide of flood insurance cost

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sandy's continuing toll: Rising tide of flood insurance cost

Fairfield residents whose homes weren't damaged by flooding from Superstorm Sandy last fall nonetheless will be affected by fallout from the devastating storm. "Financially, this is going to be very significant to a lot of homeowners who never saw it coming," Jonathan Turk, a sales executive with William Pitt Insurance Services in Stamford, said after Tuesday night's Federal Emergency Management Agency forum on flood insurance in Fairfield Ludlowe High School. "I think [U.S. Rep.] Jim Himes' office is going to get an earful about this, and all the congressmen." "The financial impact this is going to have on society is unbelievable," Turk said. More than 50 people attended FEMA's three-hour forum on changes to its National Flood Insurance Program that were prompted by significant coastal storms over the past several years. Flood zones were expanded on new FEMA maps and base flood elevations were raised, meaning homes that were FEMA-compliant before the changes may not be FEMA-compliant now. Also, the subsidy that was provided to residents who own older homes that were compliant when they were built is being phased out, said Bob Desaulniers, a regional insurance specialist with FEMA. Residents who own their homes outright and who live in a high-hazard flood zone will be required to have flood insurance when they sell their homes or get a loan from the equity in their homes, Desaulniers said. The phase-out of subsidies initially applies to owners of non-primary/secondary homes and commercial properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area, as well as residents whose homes have had severe or repeated flooding. Their rates will increase 25 percent a year until the rates reflect true risk, Desaulniers said. READ MORE:

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