Homeowners to pay flood insurance without government help - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Homeowners to pay flood insurance without government help

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County is dealing with a lot of flooding near rivers right now, and it is affecting neighborhoods.

Along with this, the federal government is also washing out flood insurance prices for higher rates. The Flood Insurance Program that helps subsidize flood insurance rates is $27 billion in debt right now, so the full costs of flood insurance are being pushed on the actual homeowners that are affected.

This means an increase of about 25 percent every year until homeowners are paying the full risk rate. This affected rental properties at the beginning of this year, and now it's going to affect homeowners and business owners by October.

"Any increase appears substantial," said Maurice Stephens, with Allstate Insurance. "But when you have a $500 rate, and you add 25 percent this year, 25 percent next year, and 25 percent the next year, you know it adds up in a hurry."

Insurance agents say this could bring about big increases for property owners, from a range of paying hundreds of dollars more a year, to paying thousands of dollars more. It will affect everyone, whether they are paying for flood insurance or not.

Previously, the government has used homeowner's tax dollars, even if they live on a mountain, to help handle the costs of flood insurance. Now, people are going to have to pay for it themselves. Some people say it's not the best situation, but it makes sense.

"Yes, unfortunately, I feel that if they choose to live in a flood area, and they have to pay more for insurance, then I only think that would be fair," said Elisa Oorbeck.

The National Flood Insurance Program is currently updating area flood maps, which will be done at the earliest by the end of 2013. The newly-updated maps will specifically determine just how much homeowners will have to pay based on where they live.

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