FEMA flood insurance program set to expire in September

Hurricane Hermine brought flooding to many Pasco neighborhoods.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you have flood insurance through FEMA, you could be at risk.

More than one million Floridians are insured, but the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire in September.

Carolyn Lockett has lived in her home off Bayshore Boulevard for more than 20 years. She knows flooding is a real possibility and not having flood insurance was never an option.

“We knew coming into this area and building here, it’s a necessity. It’s something we had to budget for.”

But, insurance agents warn that the people who are most at risk, are people who may not even know it.

A bulk of claims from the national flood insurance program comes from people who aren’t in obvious flood zones.

“They come from areas that are low risk, or may not even be required or be in a technical flood zone, they may be in an x flood zone which is low risk,” said John Murphy, insurance agent.

That could mean real trouble if the national program is not renewed.

“Tons of people, it’s all adding up, it’s anyone that has to have flood insurance, and even people that don’t, that just want it,” said Murphy.

Renewals could be denied and there could be major delays with mortgages for those who are buying or selling homes. Prices could also increase.

“Honestly I think they are going to go up,” said Murphy.

The worst part of all of this is that there’s not much you can do until Congress decides what it will do.

“Going through this back in 2010, we just kind of had to tell people to hold tight. It’s not a preferred situation.”

The only productive thing you can do is call your licensed agent and see if there’s another flood insurance that your bank will accept, if you have a mortgage.

The problem is that this national program is what the bank’s prefer, which could be a big problem if this all goes away.

Congress has until September 30 to decide if it will renew the program or not.

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