Updated Flood Maps Could Lead to a Jump in Southern California Property Insurance Rates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency just recently released a new set of updated flood maps, which were officially active as of December 20, 2019. It is possible that Southern California insurance rates may spike with the new flood maps, particularly in affected areas. The revised maps are based on years of researching weather patterns, erosion, land development, and other factors. These studies included the first detailed analysis of the Pacific Coast in more than 30 years. Water, sand, and rocks have now forced police to close popular attractions. 

What the Maps Say

A city engineer had claimed that updated federal maps show an increased chance of flooding for about 1,250 coastal properties in Oceanside, California. The maps dictate a greater threat than previously for low-lying properties that are mostly west of the Coast Highway in areas such as The Strand in northern Oceanside and St. Malo Beach, near the Carlsbad border. Some engineers state that this has been a long time coming.

What Does This Mean?

The updates are said to bring higher insurance costs to some property owners in the affected areas, but those who already have flood insurance will be grandfathered in at their existing rates. However, anyone who had purchased new insurance from December 20th and onward will likely need to pay significantly higher rates in areas shown to have increased risks. 

City officials were said to have mailed letters to all affected property owners in November to make them aware of the changes. Other areas of the city such as low-lying property along Loma Alta Creek and in the San Luis Rey River valley also are in federal flood zones but were not affected by the update. The FEMA maps have multiple purposes, including regulating new development. Homeowners will want to check their city’s website for more information and speak to you about any possible coverage updates they may need. 

Flood insurance is required for federally backed mortgages on properties within the FEMA flood zones. In most cases, those loans are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. 

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