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Will Flood Insurance Rise?


Will Flood Insurance Rise?

By: Adam M. Matheny

Island County on Probation

Island County has been informed that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, intends to place the unincorporated part of the county on probation beginning on March 30th. Over 100 property owners were cited and fourteen remain out of compliance with the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) standards.

This probation, which would be county-wide, means that all homeowners will be paying an additional fifty dollars for their flood insurance for a year—at minimum.

The FEMA announcement was made in November of last year, and county officials were caught unprepared. They’d been working with several agencies, the homeowners, and FEMA itself to comply.

The Island County Commissioner Janet St. Clair called the approach heavy handed, and said that they drafted a letter to the agency in response. The county’s legal team worked with officials to draft the letter, which was approved early this year.

Included in the response is the fact that since the prior report, three additional properties complied with the order, and others are in the process. Still more are appealing the judgement.

Therefore, the county urges the agency not to persist with the probation, which, according to officials, unfairly punishes property owners who are already in compliance. If FEMA must take action, they point out, they can deny coverage for those particular properties which are in violation.

The problems cited by FEMA include elevation verification, solid foundation flood vent installation, and crawlspace corrections.

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