NPR Story
3:58 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Federal Flood Insurance Fix Still Means Higher Premiums For Some Oklahomans

DCF 1.0

robposse / Flickr

Only about 18,000 of Oklahoma’s 3.8 million residents have flood insurance. And less than half of that many have policies that are subsidized by the federal government. But for those 7,000 or so Oklahomans, flood insurance is getting much more expensive.

As The Associated Press’ Kristi Eaton reports, those subsidies are for “homes and businesses constructed in the days before there were rules for building close to water,” but claims have outpaced premium payments. and the National Flood Insurance Program called for reform of the system in 2012:

In 2012, Congress passed a law requiring approximately 1.1 million subsidized policyholders to start paying rates based on the true risk of flooding at their properties. Congress heard the public outcry and passed legislation — signed by President Barack Obama on Friday — that pulls back on some of the increases. Instead of immediate, onerous spikes, homeowners will see annual premium increases as high as 18 percent year after year. Policies for businesses and second homes will climb 25 percent each year.

So, the new law lessens the pain for home and business owners with subsidized flood insurance policies. That doesn’t mean they won’t still take a big hit:

Within Lawton, 688 people and businesses have policies and 40 percent of those will see an increase in premiums, according to federal data collected by The Associated Press.

…Yukon City Manager Grayson Bottom said any increase will affect its city’s residents and businesses. Forty-eight percent of policy holders with flood insurance in the Oklahoma City suburb will face increases.

“For those people who have flood insurance, an increase will impact them. It sure will,” he said.

Copyright 2014 StateImpact Oklahoma. To see more, visit http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/.