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LEGAL/FINANCIAL

New Flood Zones Could Slash Insurance Premiums

New York City

Flood Insurance

The Rockaway Peninsula after Hurricane Sandy roared through

Oct. 19, 2016 — Feds agree to redraw city’s stringent flood maps.

Federal officials, responding to an appeal from Mayor Bill de Blasio, have agreed to redraw the city’s flood maps, which is likely to reduce or eliminate insurance premiums for thousands of buildings currently in flood zones, Crain’s reports.

Flood insurance is required for any homeowner who has a federally backed mortgage on property located in a flood zone. Four months after Hurricane Sandy struck in October 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) redrew the city’s flood maps for the first time since 1983, doubling the number of properties that required flood insurance. Earlier in 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Act to make the federal flood insurance program solvent. It resulted in soaring premiums.

Now officials from FEMA and the city will revisit the data and revise the flood maps. It’s likely that many properties will see reduced premiums, and many others will no longer be required to buy the insurance. Until the maps are redrawn, flood insurance premiums will continue to be based on preliminary charts from 2007.

“Our city needs precise flood maps that reflect real risks, both today and years from now,” de Blasio said.

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