Letter: A warning to businesses and homeowners
I feel very sorry for the two Hillsboro women whose annual flood insurance premiums went from $2,000 to $4,600 (“Dream of home turns into financial nightmare,” Monitor front page, Dec. 6).
Pamela Smith can hardly be blamed for not inquiring about potential premium increases; she relied upon experienced people in an unfamiliar field. Don’t most of us? It doesn’t help that town officials can’t explain why or by whom a basement was constructed in violation of the regulations and why this isn’t properly reflected in the town’s property records.
A premium increase of 130 percent would come as a shock to anyone. Nevertheless, this kind of increase does reflect both recent and potential payouts to flood victims by FEMA, as well as federal budget tightening at a time when we can certainly anticipate more major storms and flooding events.
While premium increases of this size are extraordinary, significant increases of any magnitude will serve as a warning to homeowners and businesses in flood zones that they consider relocating to safer elevations.
They should certainly think twice about rebuilding at the same site once their properties are either destroyed or damaged beyond repair, for their own as well as their communities sake.
Municipalities should be re-examining the boundaries of their flood zones, if they haven’t done so already.
How one feels about the causes of larger and more frequent storms or sea level rise is besides the point; these are realities that we must adapt to sooner or later.