A new bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to try and keep flood insurance rates from going out of control here in the east. The Insurance Affordability Act, cosigned by Congressman Walter Jones, could delay increases.
That's because the basic premise of flood insurance is that it has to be available and affordable. According to Jones the affordability study was never done. Without the Insurance Affordability Act, those who live in a flood zone will see a 25% increase in flood insurance every year for four years, but that's only for those who already own property. If you buy property in a flood zone you take the full 100% rate hike all at once.
Local realtors say that could be the start of another housing downturn.
"What we fear is that people will be priced out of their current homes and ultimately be forced to sell at a loss in order to recoop the expense of their insurance," said realtor Cirilia Cothran.
According to the Planning and Zoning Director in Emerald Isle, next year there will be new flood maps drawn by FEMA that could bring more properties into the flood zone.