Hold Down Flood Insurance Premiums

Like high water that comes after heavy rain, complaints about the cost of federal flood insurance are a recurring problem. U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., heard them again last week.

McKinley met with Follansbee Chamber of Commerce members to discuss various issues. One brought up was the cost of insuring homes and businesses against flood damage.

After severe flooding in 2016, affected businesses in Follansbee were offered help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To receive aid, they had to obtain flood insurance.

It can be prohibitively expensive, McKinley was told. He sympathized with those making that point, telling them he is aware of one family that pays $1,200 a year for the coverage.

Others pay more, sometimes much more.

A few years ago, federal officials became concerned about billions of dollars in flood insurance outlays, resulting from severe hurricanes in coastal areas. The decision was made to increase insurance rates.

Back then, McKinley was among those arguing property owners in our area, with relatively low flood damage claims, should not have to pay much higher premiums to cover high-risk areas such as the coasts.

He was right, but clearly, Washington was not listening. Clearly, more pressure needs to be put on FEMA to set fairer premiums.

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