Chaney files suit to stop flood insurance rate hike

Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop the dramatic increases coming for everyone who has flood insurance.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said the “draconian rate increases” are set to take effect Tuesday and could bankrupt many South Mississippi homeowners. He said some consumers will see rate increases higher than 3,000 percent.

The rate hikes for flood insurance are happening because of a bill passed in Congress called the Biggert-Waters Act, which was meant to shore up the troubled National Flood Insurance Program.

“In granting approval, FEMA used older Base Flood Elevation maps and then in 2009 began to change the Base Flood Elevation Maps and Zones. This resulted in unanticipated rate increases,” Chaney explained in a news release Thursday afternoon. “Many of the new Flood Elevation Maps are riddled with errors and consumers must pay for new elevation certificates to prove they are not in a flood zone.”