Oregon flood insurance premiums still charged to the wrong homeowners

Flood Insurance - FEMA

The challenges that FEMA is facing within the state are clearly on the rise.

Hundreds of homeowners throughout the state are finding themselves wrongly being required to pay Oregon flood insurance as they are caught up in the flaws of a system in which lenders automatically include properties located close to flooding zones in with those that are actually located in high risk areas.

This means that properties nearby – but outside of – flooding zones, are deemed high risk by lenders.

Oregon Flood Insurance - FEMAThis is problematic for those homeowners as it requires them to have to purchase Oregon flood insurance coverage. This is an issue that has drawn a great deal of attention throughout the federal reforms to the system. The state has experienced zoning errors in many different areas for the last three quarters of 2013 and now into the new year.

Homeowners are now beginning to challenge the Oregon flood insurance zoning designations.

The number of residents that are starting to take part in this challenge to the current designations is growing. Still, according to Christine Shirley, the coordinator of the National Flood Insurance Program, the system continues to have its flaws. She said that “Nothing has really changed.”

The primary problem with this coverage is that it is not cheap. They have been adding several hundreds of dollars to peoples’ payments every month. Some homeowners have taken it upon themselves to hire their own surveyors in order to officially show that their homes are not located within the high risk zones. These services, alone, can cost many hundreds of dollars, but it can help to lower the payments that are required for these residents from then onward.

Many of the people who are finding themselves faced with high Oregon flood insurance premiums are those who have homes that are outside of the flooding zones, but that have properties that will extend back into them. For example, the back yard may extend back into a wetlands area, but the structure, itself, is located on much higher ground, outside of the high risk area. At the moment, this issue remains very challenging and expensive to correct, and FEMA – an agency riddled with debt – has recently implemented legislation that makes the fines more than four times higher for insurers that fail to cover homes within flooding zones.

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