Residents, businesses looking at flood insurance hike

By Aubry Buzek
Staff writer
abuzek@cnjonline.com

Residents and business owners in the Clovis flood plain will be hit with National Flood Insurance Program rate increases starting today.

The president signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law last March, which repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

City Planning and Zoning Administrator Louis Gordon provided residents with information regarding the changes at the Clovis Home and Garden Show March 28. He said unless residents have paid off their mortgage, the policyholders this law affects know they are living in a flood plain because they must carry flood insurance policy.

Rate increases for most policies could go up by as much as 15 percent, and for businesses or non-primary residences the rate could go up by as much as 18 percent, according to Gordon.

“One of the changes is if you own and live in a primary residence that is in the flood zone, then you are going to see a surcharge related to your premiums,” Gordon said Saturday. “It’s going to go up $25 dollars, which is not bad, but everything else is going to go up as well — say if you have a secondary home or if you own a business, there is going to be a surcharge added to your premium, and that’s going to be $250 dollars.”

The law is also implementing a fee of 10 percent of the premium for preferred risk policies and 15 percent for property newly mapped into special flood hazard areas.

Engineers with Molzen Corbin said at a Public Works Committee Meeting last week that part of their project with the city in updating the Master Drainage Plan is to shrink the flood plain in Clovis by updating data and remapping the area.

“New, more accurate data is a FEMA approved method of map revision,” said the representative at the meeting. “The flood plain is being significantly reduced and many areas should be removed from the flood plain insurance requirement.”

The company said Clovis residents spend about $388,000 on flood insurance premiums.

“Our goal is to get them out of the flood plain so they can spend their money here instead of sending it to Washington D.C.”

The engineers also suggested upcoming Department of Transportation improvements to U.S. 60 from Grand to Prince could improve drainage at what is the “heart of the flood plain” in Clovis.

Maps on FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center show special flood hazard areas in Clovis subject to inundation by the 1 percent annual flood (100-year flood). A significant area is the south side of town bordering the railroad. Explore them at https://msc.fema.gov.

For more information about NFIP rate increases, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.