The future of flood insurance - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

The future of flood insurance

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Louisiana leaders, along with others, met in Washington Tuesday to try and put a stop to climbing flood insurance premiums. 

Some are calling for a four-year delay in the rate hikes.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the increases are hurting many families.

"This a real threat to the economic well-being of many communities ... whether it's North Dakota, Louisiana, California or the East Coast," she said.

The people of Southwest Louisiana are taking notice, as senators try to delay current legislation which has proven to be a heavy burden on many.

"The good news is that Congress is trying to address a bad situation, in that, the last probably 10 or 15 years the flood insurance program has been upside down. They're paying out more in claims than they're taking in," said Melody Jackson, of Insurance Unlimited.

So, that means with the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, that went into effect in 2012, the government is only trying to play catch up. This is leaving some residents with a headache.  

Flood insurance rates will continue to increase. Though Calcasieu Parish has already taken a few steps to make flood insurance more affordable with the Community Rating System, Pam Mattingly explains, "Calcasieu Parish has been participating in that since ... for about 18 years now, so people receive a 10 percent discount on their flood insurance right now regardless what happens with Congress, they'll always continue getting that discount."

Which is critical because many people own homes that are at-risk of flooding with about 48 percent of the people in Calcasieu Parish live in a special flood hazard area.

So, residents will have to wait and see what, if any, new legislation will go in effect to help with rising costs.

Landrieu is asking everyone to send in a photo of their house and their tragic flood story if they were impacted by recent flood insurance increases. She wants to use this information to bring to Congress.

Email a photo of your house and your story about flood insurance increases to:

MyHomeMyStory@landrieu.senategov or tweet with the hashtag # MyHomeMyStory to her, @SenLandrieu

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