New FEMA maps could lower insurance rates for thousands in Orleans Parish

The price of flood insurance could go down for many people in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS -- A workshop at City Hall aims to explain new flood maps to residents, including showing them what parts of the city could see lower insurance premiums.

For Raymond Saffrahn, who lives in the Lower 9th Ward, the high price of flood insurance can be unbearable.

“Just the rates period,” Saffrahn said. “Everything is just so high.”

Some of his neighbors are paying as much as $3,000 a year for flood insurance. So when he heard his neighborhood will see a drastic decrease in premiums, he said it was hard to believe.

“It’s kind of a wow factor,” he said. “I look at it as a big soup bowl and I couldn’t imagine that the Lower 9th Ward would get a decrease in insurance.”

City leaders and FEMA are hosting a flood insurance and rate map workshop Thursday morning to provide people with information on the new updated to the flood insurance maps. The city said because of the improvements in drainage and flood protection, more than 53 percent of all properties in New Orleans were removed from the special flood hazard areas or “A Zones.”

“Those rates are going to be exceedingly low,” said Jared Munster, Director of Safety and Permits. “We’re talking, you know, a few hundred dollars a year.”

It’s a drastic change from a few years ago when rates were set to skyrocket, some by thousands of dollars.

Most areas will see a price drop or have their rates stay the same. However, Lower Algiers was not as lucky.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Charles James, who’s lived in the Lower Algiers neighborhood for more than 30 years. “I think it should be across the board.”

With the recent floods in Baton Rouge, the city says it’s a grim reminder that you should always be prepared for the worst.

The city said the new maps will affect roughly 85,000 policies in Orleans Parish. The meeting is scheduled to take place in City Hall at 10 a.m. 

You can see the flood map on The New Orleans Advocate website by clicking here.

You can register for the workshops Thursday morning by clicking here.

(© 2016 WWL)


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