Insurance Rises After FEMA Redraws Flood Map 4-12-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Insurance Rises After FEMA Redraws Flood Map 4-12-2011

Tough economic times could get even tougher soon for some folks in Mid-Michigan.
That's because they might be forced to come up with hundreds of dollars a year for flood insurance.
WNEM TV5's Craig McMorris has been investigating the issue and has more on possible flood map changes that are on the way.
"Well, we were devastated,” said Jane Little, a resident of Sanford Lake. “I mean, people in this day and age just can't afford all this extra money."
Jane Little and her husband, Denny, had to come up with extra money for flood insurance and they weren't happy about it.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency changed flood maps in Midland and Bay counties beginning in 2009. Now TV5 has learned Saginaw County is next.
Little and her neighbors live on Sanford Lake, and they said they don't think the feds put much effort into the new maps, which designated them as living in a high-risk flood area.
"They did that not by a physical inspection, and not by a survey, but they sat in an office somewhere and looked at a topographical map and decided who should be in a floodplain and who shouldn't," said Little.
Now some residents in Saginaw County should prepare themselves for a similar shock. FEMA said it will release redrawn flood maps for the area this spring.
So how is this going to affect you? Your flood insurance costs are likely to jump from about $250 a year to more than $1,300 after the revision. Even worse, with the deductibles, you'll still have to shell out a sizeable amount of money if a flood strikes.
"We've found out that if you buy flood insurance, there's a $5,000 deductible and it doesn't cover the first floor, which is pretty much useless insurance as far as everyone on the lake is concerned," said another Sanford Lake resident, Trish Dankert.
Homeowners do have the option of appealing FEMA’s decisions on map revisions. Residents on Sanford Lake did, but it was expensive and there's no guarantee they'll win. And as the Littles found out, you can be left high and dry.
“Why can't we get this corrected on a timely basis? I mean, this is costing hundreds of people thousands of dollars a year," said Little.
The process has yet to play out in Genesee County. In the meantime, TV5 found out there is help for people who can't afford to buy expensive flood insurance, at least for the first two years the new flood maps go into effect.
For more information on that, click here to visit FEMA’s website.
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