Stay informed of flood insurance changes with public meetings

July 11, 2014 at 9:21 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish residents need to stay informed of the changes in flood insurance laws. Only last year, after changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) included in the Biggert-Waters Act threatened to raise property insurance rates to as high as $30,000 a year for some homeowners, the parish was thrown into turmoil.

With home sales drying up overnight, especially in the Bayou Gauche and Des Allemands areas, and talk of impending foreclosures, bankruptcies and an ensuing ripple effect throughout the St. Charles Parish economy and other coastal communities nationwide, Congress stepped in and passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA).

HFIAA appears to be a great help to many of the parish’s property owners. However, the implications of the law are not as clear for commercial property owners and those who have second homes. Also, the average flood insurance rate for those most at risk are still anticipated to rise from a few hundred dollars a year to a few thousand dollars a year.

To help property owners in the parish better understand the current status of flood insurance premiums and how to best manage their policies in the future, the St. Charles Parish government will host a number of community meetings in the coming weeks to educate the public at large.

The meetings are set for 6 p.m. July 15 at the East Regional Library, 160 W. Campus Drive in Destrehan; 6 p.m. July 17 at Cypress Lakes Country Club, 10 Villere Drive in Destrehan; 6 p.m. July 29 at the West Regional Library, 105 Lakewood Drive in Luling; and 6 p.m. July 31 at the Bayou Gauche Fire Station, 410 First Street in Bayou Gauche.

In addition, all mailing addresses within St. Charles Parish will soon be receiving a letter and flier from Parish President V.J. St. Pierre and the Parish Council regarding the need for flood insurance following all of changes.

In the meantime, St. Charles Parish officials are encouraging all residents who do not have a current flood insurance policy to get covered in order to protect the value of their homes now and in the future.

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