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Fears grow that FEMA’s flood insurance risk rating 2.0 could price SELA homeowners out

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:51 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Following two active hurricane seasons and Ida recovery, homeowners are due another punch in the gut and their wallet with FEMA’s new flood insurance program, called Risk Rating 2.0.

Eustis insurance agent, Alyssa Bourgeois says they only recently received the rates and 2.0 changes, which all Southeast Louisiana homeowners have grown accustomed to.

“It no longer means anything if you’re in an x zone. One of the biggest rating factors that’s affecting us is going to be the height of the first floor. So is your home raised or is it on slab, but the most impactful point now is going to be the distance to the body of water and flooding source,” said Eustis Insurance agent, Alyssa Bourgeois.

FEMA’s new calculation is aimed at everyone country-wide paying their risk’s share as opposed to the old system which increased prices regardless of location.

However, in flood-prone southeast Louisiana, Bourgeois says some areas could see 500 to 700% increases in flood insurance over several years.

“There’s a neighborhood in Slidell that most of that neighborhood was an X zone, still is an x zone, but instead of $572 rates, those rates are upwards are $5,000. In Marrero, we’ve quoted one last week on the west bank going from $572 in an X zone to $2,700. So it’s absolutely crazy,” said Bourgeois.

“People going to leave not only Jefferson Parish but all of southeast Louisiana. What’s going to happen outside our levee system in communities like Lafitte and Grand Isle? What are their rates going to be? Those poor people have just been through a hell of a storm,” said Deano Bonano.

Jefferson parish councilman, Deano Bonano says simply the system is unfair, and they plan to help fight it on a federal level.

“As you saw during Ida everything inside the levee system was dry, no flooding whatsoever, and now FEMA’s going to move the goal post on us and say listen, forget everything we’ve told you in the last 15,16 years and make mute what you’ve done so far. While it’s alarming and frightening, don’t give up hope. Again. We’ve fought this battle before and have been successful and keep in mind we’re not in this alone,” said Bonano.

Once many homeowners begin receiving their renewal notices those increasing policies will be double or triple overnight.

They’ll be put on a gliding scale, capped at a maximum increase of 18% per year.

Both Bourgeois and Bonano encourage anyone concerned about this to contact your federal lawmakers.

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