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Flood insurance rates cause some area residents concern - KOAM TV 7

Flood insurance rates cause some area residents concern

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Ben Leavens, DVM, has lived along Shoal Creek with his family for about 10 years. The view is idyllic, but it comes with a price. The family has experienced major floods, two of which forced them them to temporarily move.

 "We're in a flood plain.," said Leavens. "The ground here is well below the 100 year floodplain."

The National Flood Insurance Program mandates that certain mortgaged homes in flood-prone areas have flood insurance.

Gary Roark of Newton county says the costs for flood insurance are sometimes unfair, particularly for those who are in lower-risk areas.

 "It ends up that the people that aren't using their insurance, and aren't needing their insurance because they haven't had flooding. Their insurance payments are paying for repairing the homes that are in a high flood areas."

 In efforts to make the program reflective of true flood risks, the federal government introduced the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in 2012. The goal was to make costs fair, but they skyrocketed for some.

 "People were shocked at what their flood insurance rates went up to."

 Last week, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law to delay the impact of the increasing rates.

But Roark is still concerned for what some homeowners face in the long run.

 "People can't afford to pay their mortgage and their flood insurance too and some might feel like its not worth it, it's not worth the money it's costing me and they may walk away from it and that's sad."

 Leavens said it is a privilege to live by water. He had his home raised on stilts in order to reduce further damage and rising insurance rates.

 "There is risk and you need to be prepared for that risk."

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