Thousands of families in Harris County are opting out of flood insurance even though their homes are at risk of flooding

Houston, TX (KTRK) — New data shows many people are opting out of flood insurance despite the risk of heavy rains in Southeast Texas at any time.

Flood insurance costs increased for thousands of Harris County homes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) introduced new rates.

For many people, it’s just another bill they can’t pay.

Charles Smith has dealt with new problems since his family gave him their home.

“Life as it is is miserable,” Smith said.

A flood has destroyed his home, and Smith is unable to invest in flood insurance, even though the home is in a flood zone.

“It may be too expensive,” said Smith. “Think about it. It would be too expensive.”

In 2021, FEMA changed how flood insurance premiums are calculated. The new method focuses on a property’s flood risk, including local flood history, distance to water sources, and cost of reconstruction.

The agency says the new rates will be cheaper for some homeowners. However, according to our partners, houston chroniclean increase was seen in 91% of Harris County homeowners with FEMA policies.

QuoteWizard, an organization that analyzes flood insurance, found that about 45,000 homeowners canceled their insurance last year.

Travis Herzog, ABC13’s chief meteorologist, said:

He said Houstonians like Smith could face a huge burden without insurance.

“Just one inch of water in your home isn’t life-threatening, but it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in damage, so it can be financially devastating,” Herzog said. I’m here.

He said floods can occur all year round and recommends flood insurance.

“If you can afford it, it’s worth it because you’re much more likely to experience flooding than other types of residential disasters,” Herzog said.

Mr. Smith wants insurance but is waiting for a government promise to rebuild his house.

“As soon as they send me the money, I can settle down and fix the house and get insurance,” Smith said. “Now I can’t, man.”

Herzog suggests that families look into private insurance, which may be cheaper.

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