COPY-Flood insurance rates could rise in Dougherty Co.

Dougherty County homeowners may soon see flood insurance rates increase.

County leaders were briefed Monday on a new federal law to reassess properties and help close a $25 billion deficit in the National Flood Insurance Program. The debt grew from low insurance premiums that weren't enough to cover the damages from flooding, one of the most costly natural disasters.

Consultants say 19 percent of the city of Albany, and roughly 28 percent of Dougherty County are located in flood zones.

Consultants also say all home owners can expect to see their insurance rates go up by 5% to replenish reserve funds, but properties built prior to 1978 could see their rates go up substantially more every year for several years.

Secondary properties like rental properties or vacation homes will see their rates increase by 25 percent every year until the full risk rate is met. Properties located in the city built before 1977 will see the same increases.

Some homeowners have already received notices of the increase. Consultants say some saw increases on January 1st, and others began on October 1st.

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