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March 30, 2014

Nearly 100 insured in Cass Co.

More than 60 hold subsidized federal flood insurance

Local residents of older homes in Cass County’s floodplains are likely to see their flood insurance rates rise — though not as fast as originally anticipated.

Residents in Logansport’s ZIP code have taken out a total of 98 active flood insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program. The county has about eight more policies in outlying areas near Galveston and Kewanna, according to a FEMA database showing policies by congressional district.

The program that holds those policies is about $24 billion in debt, and legislation passed in 2012 was due to hike some policyholders’ rates to get rid of that debt. The effects of that legislation were postponed by a bill signed into law earlier this month.

Much of the program’s debt was due to subsidies provided for certain policyholders whose properties have since suffered under a spate of severe flooding events over the last few years.

In Logansport, 64 policies are subsidized under the program, according to a FEMA database. Now, they’re likely to see increases of up to 18 percent for primary residences, or more for second homes or businesses.

Most subsidized policies are for properties that were built before the first flood map was issued, and so are “grandfathered” in at old insurance rates, explained Jan Crider, Indiana’s hazard mitigation officer with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. She said she suspected most subsidized properties are primary residences.

Policies for primary residences could take six to seven years to reach the true cost of the flood risk, rising at a rate of about 18 percent per year.

Reach Sarah Einselen at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

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