Thousands of Neb. Homeowners to Face Hikes in Federal Flood Insurance


A decades-old subsidy program for flood insurance is deep in debt, leaving more than 1 million Americans -- including over 5,000 Nebraskans -- to face a hike in flood insurance premiums.

Congress sought to ease fears in many communities by rolling back dramatic price hikes for national flood insurance, but for many the price increases have only been delayed.

As many as 1.1 million policyholders with subsidized government insurance will still be hit with rate increases under a bill set to be signed by President Barack Obama.

According to the Associated Press, 2,050 policies in Nebraska are expected to face a mandatory 25 percent annual increase, while 3,746 will grow by up to 18 percent yearly.

Rates are rising because the National Flood Insurance Program is $24 billion in debt following a series of catastrophic, and damaging storms. Rates are expected to continue to rise until they reflect the true flood risk.

A public works employee in Lincoln says homeowners have expressed frustration with the increase, which will affect those who want to sell or refinance.

Most Nebraskans impacted by the change live in the eastern part of the state. Lincoln leads the state with 1,041 affected property owners, followed by Omaha with 403, and more in the east.

Across the U.S. there are hundreds of small communities that have so many homes or businesses in hazard zones that the price hikes could threaten to shutter shops and make houses tough to sell.