Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Garamendi: Delay flood insurance rate hikes

By
From page A1 | October 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

Rep. John Garamendi this week called for postponing “absolutely unaffordable” flood insurance rate increases.

“An immediate delay is urgently needed to keep residents in my district in their homes,” Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said during a bipartisan congressional meeting on the subject held Wednesday.

Legislative action has stalled during the ongoing feuding over the Affordable Care Act, partial federal government shutdown and debt ceiling. Civic and business organizations are urging President Barack Obama to delay the rate hikes.

The cause of the flood insurance uproar: the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

It could see some property owners pay 4,000 percent more for flood insurance. Some new rates are already being phased in.

Passed with bipartisan support, the legislation reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program for five years. It was intended to keep solvent a program that’s now $30 billion in debt because of a large number of claims following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

The act sought to shift from away from federally subsidized flood insurance premiums, which had kept rates down in flood zones, toward rates that reflect flood risk. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also revised its risk maps, raising base flood elevation numbers and expanding flood zones.

Rates are scheduled to climb 25 percent per year until the full rate is reached. For a house and contents worth $280,000 built one foot below base flood elevation, the cost of insurance will increase from $2,235 per year to $5,623.

For non-primary residences, bigger bills are already due when policies are renewed.

In Knights Landing — now squarely in the flood zone — owners might choose to walk away, rather than dole out more for insurance, said Cindy Tuttle, Yolo County’s intergovernmental relations manager.

“You have the potential for creating a ghost town,” she said.

Of 5,875 floodplain policyholders in the county, 489 pay subsidized rates.

Owners who live in homes in flood hazard areas can keep their subsidized rate unless they bought their home after the act went into effect, or if they purchase a new policy or allow an existing policy to lapse.

Farmers are also up in arms because FEMA is now treating ag buildings like houses when determining rates. To build a new barn, Tuttle said, it would need to be flood-proofed or built at an accepted elevation, likely making it unaffordable, impractical or both.

Garamendi, the state’s former insurance commissioner, said a spike in rates also would lower resale potential of existing homes and stymie the recovering housing market.

In September, Craig Fugate, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a Senate subcommittee that the 2012 law gave him no leeway to delay the rate hike. A legislative fix would be needed, he said.

Garamendi and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, who represents West Sacramento, are among 26 co-sponsors of a bill that would delay the risk-based rates until 2015. A Senate bill would delay rate increases for a year.

FEMA says the phase-out of subsidies will affect fewer than 20 percent of the 5.5 million flood policyholders nationwide.

About 17.4 million households in the United States live in areas where flood insurance is mandatory. Of those, 41 percent of those have low to median income levels, according to a lawsuit filed by Mississippi against FEMA.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Francis HodgkinsOctober 12, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    . Currently the flood insurance program pays out twice as much as it takes in. If you live in a flood plain, especially with climate uncertainty, you should be paying the true cost, and not expect the rest of Americans to subsidize your protection. the flood insurance program understates the cost of living in the flood plain. Local elected officials, who manage the flood insurance program, are easily influenced by developers to understate flood risk. the net result is that more house get built in flood plains, and more people buy those houses and the cost of claims keeps going up. we need an honest program so that the risk can be evaluated as part of people's decision as to buying a home.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

     
    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20