|By Lisa Broadt, The Chronicle, Centralia, Wash.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"It's huge," FEMA Region X Insurance Program Specialist
Speaking to the
Exactly how much the changes will cost is still to be determined.
To repair the financial damage, the
It's not known exactly when the new maps will be published, but preliminary versions indicate that
Currently, the National Flood Insurance Program allows property owners to hold on to historic rates as determined by previous flood maps, as long as he or she owned insurance prior to the map change and maintained continuous coverage.
Farmer on Thursday said debate about the changes to the grandfathering policy has been heated, with national lawmakers avowing change and local leaders declaring that families will lose their homes.
Subsidies already are being phased out for structures in the special flood hazard areas built before the first
Immediate increases also occur upon the sale/purchase of a property; full risk rates must be charged to the next owner of the policy.
Subsidies also are being phased out for non-primary residences, businesses, and some severe repetitive loss properties.
Premiums for these properties will increase by 25 percent per year until they reach the full risk rate, as determined by the maps in current use.
Subsidies are not being phased out for existing policies covering primary residences, but that may change when communities are remapped, according to
The most important factor in determining full risk rate is the elevation of the structure in relation to the base flood elevation. Generally, the higher the elevation above the base flood elevation, the lower the flood risk.
"Everything is very dependent on the individual structure," Farmer said. "It might be a matter of adding three vents, or it might be a matter of -- there's just nothing we can do."
"Yes, but the federal dollars are going to dry up during an emergency," Farmer said. "My best advice for now, don't let your policy lapse."
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