Central Valley – Feinstein calls for changes in federal flood insurance law
June 28, 2011
• Says changes will help with protection while lowering rates
• ‘Californians should be charged the same insurance rates if they face the same risk’
Legislation to bring parity to the flood insurance market and encourage local governments to construct more flood protection systems has been introduced in Congress by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Under current law, if a local government establishes a plan to prevent flooding by building a levee, the National Flood Insurance Program prohibits homeowners from receiving the same discounted insurance they would otherwise receive if the levee were built by the federal government or Army Corps of Engineers. If the levees protecting these homes were owned by the federal government instead of the local reclamation districts or the state of California, the area would be eligible for discounted insurance.
“In some areas of the country, homeowners are billed an additional $700 dollars each year for flood insurance simplybecause their local government built the levee protecting their home — not the federal government,” says Ms. Feinstein. “In other words, these Californians are being charged more to insure their properties, simply because their local municipality did the right thing and built a levee.” Her proposal would allow:
• Levees built with local tax dollars to qualify for the same discounted flood insurance rates as communities that rely on federal tax dollars;
• Areas protected by coastal levees to qualify for the same flood insurance rate zones as areas protected by riverine levees, provided they meet equivalent flood protection standards.
• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to calculate the value of a levee system in current dollars instead of using the un-inflated cost of levee improvements completed years ago. Read more: http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=18776