Delay of insurance rate hike sought

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 02:53 PM.

Efforts are underway to fend off rising flood insurance costs that could drive up premiums for some homeowners.

NC-20, an advocacy group for North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties, and the Wilmington-based Business Alliance for a Sound Economy, are leading area efforts to delay implementation of the changes until they can be studied further.

The National Flood Insurance Program reforms proposed are expected to place a heavy burden on homeowners and other property owners in designated flood hazard area.

“Congress is trying to make the program solvent, but it’s going to be on the backs of homeowners,” said Willo Kelly of NC-20, which includes Onslow and Carteret counties among those it represents.

Kelly, who also helped lead opposition to recent coastal homeowner insurance rates that jumped an average of 20 percent, said she had homeowners say then that they couldn’t absorb the costs. Flood insurance changes could be more damaging to their budgets.

“When they get a bill that’s two times, five times, 10 times what it is now, where are they going to get the extra money?” she asked.

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