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From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

Starting October 1, 2013, some homeowners could see their insurance spike significantly thanks to changes to FEMA regulations. Some homeowners could see their flood insurance spike between 10 and 1000 percent.

Who does this change effect?

 It could effects homes built during or before the 1970's. The exact year varies by county. Those are the homes that fall into the pre-firm or subsidized flood insurance rates, because they were built before current elevation requirements were established.

What changes?

The subsidized rates on older homes are going away, and now homeowners need an elevation certificate to adequately determine rates.  If you don't have one, rates could increase by up to 10 to 25 perfect each year, depending on a number of variables.

Why is there a change?

The changes are in response to big payouts.  FEMA has been paying out a lot of claims with recent natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and others, massive flooding, etc .

What's the he ripple effect?

If you're looking to buy a home in the region, this affects you too.   Buyers can no longer assume the seller's flood policy on those older homes.  

 There are a lot of variables home to home and county to county. Charles Cole, with Crescent Insurance Agency, said the best advice is to contact your insurance agent to see if your home falls into the pre-firm category; if it's in the effected flood zones; and if you need the elevation certificate.

According to FEMA, those pre-FIRM primary residences, some 578,312 policies nationwide, will retain their subsidies until sold to new owner or until the policy lapsed.  

There is a silver lining, not all subsidized policyholders will see large increases.  According to FEMA, obtaining an elevation certificate is the best way to know a structure's risk and true-risk premiums. Some will find their premiums will decrease; some will stay about the same; some will see minor to moderate premium increases; and some policyholders will see large increases. Without an elevation certificate, homeowners cannot evaluate actual risk.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.

The flooding image used was published in a previous News Story on www.counton2.com