Flood insurance changes may be on the way

Many people need car and house insurance . but in La Crosse, hundreds of homeowners are also required to buy flood insurance But now, there’s new legislation making its way through congress that may lower their premiums. News 8’s Madalyn O’Neill is here now with the details. Mike and Martha … Representative Ron Kind says the legislation will open up the market for private companies to offer flood insurance . creating competetion and potentially driving down the prices. And La Crosse’s floodplain manager says if passed . the bill could bring good things to the city. Doug Kerns There are like 1900 properties in the city that are affected by floodplain, and that’s significant. La Crosse residents can enjoy all the benefits living near water can bring . but for some, they also have to think about the risks. If your house or primary structure is near one of those special flood hazard areas …you’re required to buy the insurance by law if you have a federally backed mortgage. one-size-fits-all. PHONE INT: Rep Ron Kind They’re asking residents up in the upper Midwest to help subsidize hurricane alley and tornado alley,” And La Crosse residents may be paying more than their fair share into the insurance pool. That’s what makes La Crosse very unique. We’ve got extremely high numbers in percentages of properties in special flood hazard areas, and in the past 50 years we haven’t had that much flooding, Very few claims are ever submitted, and yet our homeowners are paying exorbitant premium prices. Graphic The bill would allow private companies to sell the insurance as long as they comply with state regulations. Getting this market competition moving forward with this legislation, I’m hoping will bring more actors into the field and give homeowners greater choices at a more affordable price. But living in a river city . floods are always a possibility. By no means am I saying it can’t happen or won’t happen but I think . insurance companies can take a look at risks in areas like La Crosse and base their rates accordingly, instead of a big national broad level . maybe provide a little cheaper policy. At least let’s hope anyway. In LAX, MO, N8 La Crosse’s floodplain manager told me today that the price of flood insurance depends on the value of the property and risk involved . but the average is around 700 to 800 dollars per year . and he’s seen flood insurance up to 6 thousand dollars. Representative Kind said that of the 1900 properties in the floodplain . they paid over 600 thousand dollars worth of premiums just last year. Thanks Madalyn. The bill passed the House unanimously . and is on its way to the Senate for a vote.

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