DuBos: Delay on flood insurance rate increases a big step



Posted on July 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 6:21 PM

Louisiana property owners who are facing much higher flood insurance premiums got some good news Tuesday, but full-scale relief is still a long way off. That’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

The only thing that threatens coastal communities more than a hurricane these days is the rising cost of flood insurance.

For decades, the federal government subsidized flood insurance rates. It made local properties affordable – and insurable.

But last year, Congress required flood insurance to become, quote, “self-sustainable.” That’s code for “more expensive” – especially for coastal residents.

Next year, flood insurance rates are set to go through the roof for many local homeowners. Some will have to pay more than $25,000 a year for flood insurance. That puts home ownership out of reach.

Tuesday, a Senate sub-committee chaired by Sen. Mary Landrieu voted to delay the rate increases for homes that are “grandfathered” into existing flood insurance. Landrieu’s opponent in next year’s Senate race, Rep. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge, already got the House to pass a similar delay.

The House and Senate still have to resolve their differences in the FEMA funding bill. But Tuesday’s vote is a big step. Without significant rate relief, federal flood insurance will wipe out coastal parishes a lot faster than hurricanes, coastal erosion or rising sea levels.


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