BOSTON (WWLP) – New flood zone maps are increasing flood insurance rates. The new maps won’t just impact those living in coastal cities and towns, but anyone living near a lake, river or pond could see flood insurance rates go up.
Flood zone maps had to be redrawn due to a change in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program – causing flood insurance rates to skyrocket. Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, said some homeowners are struggling – facing flood insurance bills upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per year.
“We believe that dramatically increased flood insurance rates will tip the balance for many homeowners who weathered the economic downturn, but are still feeling the residual effects of the housing crisis,” said Coakley.
The Attorney General, along with the state’s House Speaker, filed a bill that would tie flood insurance costs with a homeowner’s mortgage balance – lowering premiums for homeowners impacted by the new flood zone maps. House Speaker Robert DeLeo expressed his concern for home and business owners if the bill isn’t passed.
“Families and businesses in Massachusetts are going to be affected by the changes, and I believe that if these reforms aren’t halted that it’s going to put our entire economy in peril,” said DeLeo.
The bill would require banks to notify homeowners that are required to purchase flood insurance, that the tied insurance would only protect current mortgage interest, and may not cover property damage or loss after a flood.