Updated Flood Maps Protect Homes

by Matthew Glans on June 2, 2011

Changes in flood maps can cost some homeowners thousand in new insurance premiums. It is understandable that those homeowners may be frustrated with the higher rates when they do not feel that their home is truly susceptible to flood damage. In many instances the flood maps, which are created and updated by FEMA, cover areas vulnerable to 100 year floods that homeowners need to be prepared for. These maps are important.

In a new letter published recently in the South Bend Tribune, I discussed the importance of flood maps and the importance role they play in informing homeowners about their long term flood risk. The letter, “Updated flood maps protect homes,” was originally published May 31 and is reprinted below.

Updated Flood Maps Protect Homes
By Matthew Glans
South Bend Tribune
May 31, 2011

Erin Blasko’s article “To some, new flood plain map all wet,” (May 15) highlights many of the concerns of homeowners reacting to their new higher insurance rates due to the changes in FEMA’s flood maps, but he neglects to cover how important these maps are in preventing large-scale flood damage.

Although it’s hard not to feel sorry for some people affected by the new flood maps and standards, it’s important to understand that these map revisions are absolutely necessary to the nation’s safety.

Flood insurance maps inform homeowners that their homes are susceptible to catastrophic flood damage. Better map information can encourage better building decisions, reduce future taxpayer spending on disaster assistance, and minimize increases in the billions in debt the flood insurance program has already run up.

FEMA should have gotten the flood maps right in the first place. But the current revisions, as painful as they may be, remain absolutely necessary.

Matthew Glans
Midwest director, Center of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate,
The Heartland Institute, Chicago

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