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Higher flood insurance rates in W.Va. a cause for concern

Updated: Thursday, April 3 2014, 07:01 PM EDT
BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. -- Now that there are no longer government subsidies on flood insurance in West Virginia, businesses and  homeowners are trying to cope with higher premiums.
Wellsburg is one of many towns in the state that is being affected.
“Everyone has been upset that the rates have drastically increased on their premiums,”  Nationwide Insurance Agent Nancy Kowalski said.
“The new premium is $4,184,” Robert Morris, owner and director of Reasner Funeral Home. “The coverage doesn’t cover anything below the first floor.”
Morris is paying $1,000 more for flood insurance than what he paid before.
“With the change in the funeral industry, you never know how much money you’re going to have,” Morris said. “Like I said, in your budget, you plan for bills and stuff like that and the unforeseen cost of the flood insurance increase definitely causes a problem.”
Morris isn't just seeing a higher flood insurance rate with his business, he is also paying a few hundred dollars more each year for his home in Wellsburg.
“It concerns me in the long run because if you try to sell the business or anybody is trying to purchase anything in the area it makes it more difficult because the flood rates will increase,” he said. “Therefore people are deterred from buying businesses in the area.”
Flood insurance rates aren't coming down anytime soon. In fact, they are going to increase 20 percent a year for the next five years.
“Hopefully these changes take place or even go away,” Kowalski said. “We probably need people to put in complaints with the authority that is in charge of this.”
Wellsburg real estate agents are also seeing a problem with the new hike in insurance rates as people do not want to purchase certain homes because of the higher rate.

Higher flood insurance rates in W.Va. a cause for concern

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