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Changes to flood insurance could impact how much you pay

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 12:03 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - How much you pay for flood insurance could be changing soon.

FEMA has been using 50-year-old flood maps for risk assessment, but that is about to change.

Nathan Barber, a spokesperson for the insurance comparison shopping website Quote Wizard, said the change is needed.

“The flood insurance program as it is now is broken. It doesn’t work, it has to be changed,” said Barber.

FEMA now has new maps and new standards they will abide by.

“Say that there’s a homeowner in downtown Albany whose house never floods. Well, they’re making it so that that person is no longer funding the person on the coast and has a beachfront mansion that floods all the time,” Barber explained.

Barber said FEMA is using new flood maps to determine insurance costs.

“What they’re looking at now though is the historic risk that your house is facing to flood, has it flooded before, does it flood often? Different factors involving the home itself. What is the elevation, what is the soil, what is the house made of?” said Barber.

Barber said the other major factor when determining how much you’ll pay will be how much it would cost to replace your home.

“So what we are going to see overall is a vast majority of people are going to see small increases and some people are going to see big, big decreases,” Barber told WALB News 10.

The average yearly cost for flood insurance in Dougherty County is nearly $700. According to Quote Wizard’s website, about 60% of people in Dougherty County with flood insurance will pay less than $10 more per month, while 10% of residents should expect a decrease of more than $100 per month.

For those who already have flood insurance, the changes will kick in on April 1. However, if you’re applying for insurance, it will begin Oct. 1.

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