Eastern Carolina - Recent federal legislation increasing the cost of flood insurance will have a dramatic impact on the economy of coastal North Carolina.
Not only could current rates more than double, but many owner-occupied and rental homes may lose substantial value since the cost of insurance is a large factor in bank appraisals and financing. While North Carolina has been a contributor to the national flood insurance program and has more than paid its way, recent losses in other states that were underinsured has put the Federal program in financial jeopardy.
New flood maps are being drawn by the state. These maps will have a big impact on how much each household will pay.
"Flood elevations could change and you could be put in a different zone, you know, a higher risk zone," said NC-20 President, Willo Kelly. "If that happens it could be the difference between several thousand dollars in premium costs."]
Friday, NC-20, a group that tracks key issues for coastal Carolina, met in New Bern to discuss the changes.
"Also when new maps are released we are being told that more people could be added into the special flood hazard areas so folks that never had to have insurance before may be required to have it if they have a mortgage," said Kelly.
Along with flood insurance. Homeowner insurance has also recently been increased.
"Many of the coastal counties had a 1% increase, other parts of the state had much higher. We were able to save North Carolina homeowners over $237 million by settling it now instead of fighting it in court," said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner,Wayne Goodwin.
Details on how homeowner rates will be increased county by county are found here.