Industry News

A real underwater threat for homeowners

Lower insurance rates apply until new maps enacted

By NANCY GARCIA If there seems to be a rising tide of properties subject to flood zones, that is no illusion. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, four years into a flood-map modernization process that wraps up in 2010, reports an increase in properties identified at risk of flooding, and this upsurge presents landowners with new decisions. In communities that voluntarily participate in floodplain management, relatively affordable flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program. In New Orleans, Richard Olsen considers himself lucky to have had flood insurance. His $350,000 home ended up under 7 feet of water during Hurricane Katrina. While his children finished high school at night in Baton Rouge, he and his wife felt driven to return. They were among the first families to be able to return and rebuild. Their house now carries the maximum in flood coverage. Having adequate insurance is always better and less costly than relying solely on fede...

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