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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

RST: New flood insurance law could hit homeowners hard

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 24, 2013 2:36 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Wednesday, September 25, 2013:


Flooding along the Conewago Creek in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County in September 2011.

There are changes coming from the federal government October 1 that could have a big impact on many Americans and no, we're not referring to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

It's called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and it's been flying under the radar for most homeowners until they realize their flood insurance rates will go up and some could rise dramatically.  The Wall Street Journal quoted a Louisiana man as saying his flood insurance premiums will go from $633 a year to $28,000 by 2014.  A Florida woman, who says her 59 year-old house has never flooded, will see a premium hike from $1,700 to $15,000.

The idea behind the law is to make property owners pay the true cost of flood insurance.

As part of the new law, flood maps have been re-drawn which also could affect homeowners.

Appearing on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk is James Enders, Vice President of Enders Insurance in Harrisburg.

Considering Central Pennsylvania has been hit hard by floods the past two years, flood insurance should be of great interest.

You can find additional resources on emergency preparedness and flood insurance online.


Jim Enders

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-25 08:36

    Tom emails his comments on flood insurance:

    Get rid of it, make it voluntary. In 1996 lived in flood zone B which means I did't have to buy it, after the flood got $3,000 from FEMA, now live in a Flood Zone where I have to buy it, my deductible is $5,0000, my damages where only $3,000, so I got ZIP, biggest rip-off the government is running.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-25 08:38

    Lee from York emails us this question:

    Is it possible for a homeowner in an area that has the possibility of some flooding, but not catastrophic flooding, to get flood insurance for maybe $25,000 worth of damage rather than the full $250,000 value of the house?

    The caller who had a $25,000 loss would have been in good shape while insurance costs would be lower. To me, most houses are not in risk of being washed away but will have damage to lower level(s) only.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-09-25 08:56

    Lori emails us a question:

    We live near a water retention pond. Our house is elevated, but the last year our basement got about 5 inches when we had heavy rains. For the first time since we lived there, the pond was full. each time that happened we got water in our basement. Are we covered? who is