“While homeowners across the country are already seeing relief, for some, that relief has not yet come. Unfortunately, I’m still hearing stories of egregious and unreasonable rate hikes in New Jersey.
Highlands discussed in Senate Hearing
Take the case of one of my constituents, Claudette, from Highlands, New Jersey. Before Sandy destroyed her house, she had been paying around $2,500 a year in premiums. When she began rebuilding, she followed all the rules–built not just up to code, but above and beyond the required standards…But, despite doing the right thing–following all the rules–her premium skyrocketed from $2,500 to $34,000. Think about that for a minute… $34,000 a year for flood insurance… Almost $350,000 over ten years. This simply does not pass the smell test.
Fortunately, my office worked with FEMA to reduce Claudette’s premium to $7,700, but it is still far too high…And I will continue to work to see that Claudette gets the relief she deserves.
I also heard from Rick from Union Beach, New Jersey –who saw his rates increase 50-fold from $550 to $30,000.Rick’s case is similar to Claudette’s. He too rebuilt his house above the required standards–3 feet above, in fact, but is still being charged prohibitively expensive premiums based on the old, inaccurate maps.
My office is also working with FEMA to fix Rick’s egregious rate increase–and I hope FEMA will use its administrative discretion to help make this right. I find it puzzling, after working so hard to pass a law that specifically caps rate increases and encourages FEMA to strive to keep flood insurance affordable, that we are still hearing about outrageous increases that threaten to do more economic damage to families than the storm itself.”
To hear the whole hearing on how this affects not only NJ residents but residents all over the country click here:
There are 540 counties out of 3144 counties nationwide that will be affected by the Biggert Waters Act.