Protection from floods getting pricier
Protecting your home from floods is now more expensive, and expect to have even higher costs in the future. Because these types of disasters have soaked the federal government.
Protecting your home from floods is now more expensive, and expect to have even higher costs in the future.
Because these types of disasters have soaked the federal government.
The Willener's Niu valley home looks like a perfect place to spend the summer, with an inviting pool and manicured yard.
But it didn't always look this good.
"It took about a year of people coming by to get things done, and done properly," said homeowner Camm Willener.
Floods swept through his neighborhood last April, and left him with a damaged house and mud soaked yard.
But his home was covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
"They slapped on flood insurance because we live in a flood plain, that was an extra $2,500 a year. I was kicking and screaming about paying it, until less than a year later we had the flood," added Willener.
Floodwaters quickly receded, but insurance rates have been steadily climbing.
That is because the federal program is underwater itself.
"The program is financially in the red. It has been struggling, so rates have been increasing," said Carol Tyau-Beam, Hawaii's National Flooding Insurance Program Coordinator.
Annual premiums for homes in low risk area can run as low as $449 for $250,000 worth of coverage, but rates skyrocket to more than $7,000 for houses in high risk sections of the state.
That is a big jump from just a year ago.
"Those with houses built before the 80s, saw a 15-18% increase for owner occupied homes. For second homes or businesses, they could see up to 25% increase," stated Tyau-Beam.
Higher premiums are the reason the number of policies have dropped across the nation. That is also reflected in the numbers for Kauai and Hawaii Counties, where there were 335 fewer policies from 2018 to 2019.
But for Maui and Honolulu counties, there has actually been an increase in homes covered under the program. Going from 50,654 in 2018, up to 52,160 in 2019.
Not everyone is required to have flood insurance, but everyone can get coverage.
"All of us can get flood insurance, we don't have to be in a specific zone," added Tyau-Beam.
This insurance only covers a specific type of disaster:
From water that comes up, including a flood or a tsunami.
As we have seen across the state, that rapidly rising water can cause a flood pf problems, in very little time.
For the Willeners, their policy covered more than a hundred thousand dollars in damage, all of which happened in a matter of minutes.
"Had we not had that sort of help, I don't know what I would have been doing. The place has come along pretty nice, the insurance policy was a big part of it, to help redo it and get the place clean again," added Willener.
The state has a website which shows the risk zone where you live, as well as costs for insurance policies. It is good idea to check it out because risk zones for some areas around the state will be changing. You can find that link here.