To the Editor:
Mortgaged properties that reside within Special Flood Hazard Areas are required, by law, to carry flood insurance. My Lisle home is located within such an area and my 2013 FEMA premium was $1,566 for a mortgage amount of $178,000. No claims were ever filed until damage occurred to the basement in 2013.
After completely restoring the basement, I put the house on the market in October 2013, fully disclosing the flood zone information. Since October, I received three “very good” offers resulting in fully executed sales contracts. Upon receipt of flood insurance “premium” information each offer/contract was withdrawn. $3,800 was the quoted 2014 amount for a $177,000 mortgage! The new owners would need an additional $316 every month for flood insurance coverage. This is a 150 percent increase in premium, $1,000 more than the annual real estate tax bill for the property, and, according to the insurance agent providing the quote, a direct result of the Biggert Waters Act of 2012. Research on the subject confirmed his statement. Lisle will now face a stagnating real estate market in addition to the other damage incurred by the April 2013 flooding.
The consequences of the Biggert Waters Act are occurring on a national level and must be addressed on a national level. But momentum must be initiated at the local level. Research your property’s flood insurance premium annual increase and new owner’s premium. Then call and write your state and national representatives and ask for a solution, a financially affordable solution. Failing to do so is the equivalent of “political waterboarding,” politicians drowning people with flood insurance premiums.
With regards to the sale of my house, it will be off the market until this unconscionable flood insurance premium is addressed. My apologies to the realtors who diligently worked to market and sell it.
Pamela B. Kimbro