Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 28, 2014

Flood insurance rates spike

(Continued)

Lueker said another issue that will come into play is at what level the properties are in. Properties in low-lying areas and closer to a watershed are classified as Zone A; “very limited” flooding is considered in Zone B; and Zone C has little or no flood risk.

Lueker declined to place a percentage of how much county property is in a flood plain, although he provided a Federal Flood Insurance Rate map which showed the flood plain areas.

According to the information provided, there is $2.5 million of flood insurance in force in Jefferson County and $1.8 million in the city of Mt. Vernon. The total number of policies in Jefferson County facing annual increases of 25 percent or more is six; and the total number of policies facing annual increases of up to 18 percent is 11. In the city of Mt. Vernon, the number of policies facing annual increases of 25 percent or more is five; and the number of policies facing annual increases of up to 18 percent is nine.

The Village of Ina has $105,000 in flood insurance in force. There is only one policy in force, which is not expected to increase, according to A.P. projections.

In Illinois, the number of policies facing annual increases has been placed at 49 percent. There is currently 48,949 policies in force, valued at $44 million.

In a law signed by the President a week ago, FEMA is given 18 months to complete a study on flood insurance affordability and up to 36 months to find a way to offer targeted assistance to policyholders who can’t afford high premiums. It also said FEMA should set a goal of limiting annual premiums to no more than $2,500 per year for $250,000 in coverage.

The flood insurance program is up for re-authorization by Congress in 2017.

Editor’s note: Associated Press contributed information for this story.

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