Homeowners have been purchasing the expensive coverage that they don’t actually required due to mapping errors.
The maps that have been issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and which are being used by insurers and homeowners in order to decide who is required to purchase flood insurance have been found to be riddled with errors that are now causing individuals who are at no real risk of flooding to have to buy.
This coverage is required by many mortgage lenders for properties designated to be at a flooding risk by the maps.
Many homeowners, including some whose homes are built high up on hills, have been quite surprised to discover that the new FEMA maps are claiming that they live in a flood zone. Unfortunately, even the latest zoning maps are based – in some areas – on old data. One instance that was uncovered by TODAY news had found that the map used for a home located on a hill was based on data that was from 1981, and showed that a brook was flowing right through the center of the structure. Naturally, the brook is no longer there.
These homeowners are being required to pay tens of thousands of dollars for unnecessary flood insurance coverage.
In the aforementioned case, the family would be required to pay $25,000 over the length of their mortgage for the flood insurance that they don’t need – nor can they afford it. These types of government mapping errors are being found all over the country as tens of thousands of homeowners are suddenly discovering that they are being required to purchase coverage that they don’t need.
This has led members of Congress to face off with FEMA over this flood insurance mapping program. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, for instance, has explained that the agency’s maps have placed hundreds of residents of Long Island into a high risk flooding zone, based on data that was inaccurate as it was from a completely different county.
Schumer stated that “People who knew they’d never be flooded were going to be charged $10,000, $15,000,” he said. “These are middle-class, hard-working people. They’d not get a mortgage, lose their homes.” Those particular maps have since been changed by FEMA, after Schumer threatened legislation.