Recent changes made to the nation's flood insurance program could cost Oregon homeowners tens of thousands of dollars a year.
After paying out huge insurance claims for storms like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, the National Flood Insurance Program is about $25-billion in the hole. Congress passed a reform act in 2012 that took effect this October. The Director of the Lincoln County Planning and Development Department is Onno Husing. He says Congress didn't fix the problem, but passed the cost onto homeowners and buyers.
Husing: "What the real estate, and the insurance companies and surveyors and others are saying is that these kinds of increases – 10-thousand dollars a year, 20-thousand, 30-thousand and 40-thousand dollar a year payments, just for insurance for some of these properties along the ocean front is just, frankly, staggering."
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to Congress urging it to make changes. But in the meantime, Husing says people are panicking and home values are being affected. He says homeowners need to find out if they are in the flood zones before losing sleep over it.