Wisconsin residents concerned about rising home insurance costs

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    Across the country, millions of homeowners have seen their costs for home insurance rise sharply in the last few years, and for various reasons. In some of those cases, it’s because flood plains were redrawn, and many Americans now found themselves listed as being at risk for flood damage, which carries different requirements for home insurance coverage. And while those plans can be costly and typically aren’t available through standard home insurance issuers, it might still be wise for insurance agents to make sure they walk their clients through the process of figuring out what changed and what they need to avoid running into potential difficulties later.

    In La Crosse, Wisconsin, for instance, some 2,000 home- and business owners are facing concerns about rising food insurance prices, according to a report from local television station WKBT. This comes as a result of changes in federal laws that went into effect last year and which got rid of the subsidies that residents forced to pay for flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

    Why is that a concern now?
    Flood insurance is already quite costly over the course of a year, so removing those subsidies in 2014 was always likely to hit homeowners hard, the report said. And those in La Crosse recently received news that, starting next year, their coverage costs could rise by between 10 percent and 15 percent. This may be particularly concerning to those who now think they simply can’t afford to live where they do, and have also had difficulty in selling their homes because people are aware of the added annual costs that these flood plains and the insurance plans they necessitate will carry for years to come.

    La Crosse residents say flood waters like this simply don't show up in their town, and therefore the added cost isn't necessary.La Crosse residents say flood waters like this simply don’t show up in their town, and therefore the added cost isn’t necessary.

    Further issues
    In addition, many of the people who are in these redrawn flood plains also say that they’ve lived in the areas for years and never once had a problem with flooding, the report said. As a result, many residents are dubious that the extremely costly insurance coverage will even be actually necessary for them.

    “It’s going to end up costing more for the flood insurance that may or may not ever happen, as opposed to just regular homeowners insurance and it just doesn’t seem realistic,” Philip Tauscher, a lifelong La Crosse resident who has never dealt with flooding, said at a recent community meeting, according to the newspaper. “It just seems like we’re kind of a money trough to pay for other things we’ll never end up using or needing.”

    When flooding gets involved, it can often have a lot of pitfalls for those in the insurance industry, because consumers might assume things about what their plans do and do not cover that aren’t actually realistic. As a consequence, the more agents can do to educate consumers and let them know what their policies protect them against, and where they might need to add a little more coverage, can go a long way toward keeping people content with their coverage. That, in turn, is likely to produce higher rates of customer satisfaction and client retention going forward.