It’s difficult to think of natural disasters as a business, but ultimately they are. More than three years ago, Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy hit heavily populated parts of the East Coast. We’re a wealthy country, though, with a robust national flood insurance program, plenty of disaster aid, and a can-do spirit. All of the people driven out of their homes have rebuilt or received settlements and moved on, right? No. [More]
It’s no surprise that waterfront property can be particularly prone to flooding. From the disasters of Katrina, Ike, and Sandy to the more everyday risks, building next to the water means you run a risk of finding that water in your living room one day.
Last August, a family in California came home to find their house on fire. Five months later, they live in a rented house down the street while still paying their mortgage and flood insurance, but the house isn’t being rebuilt because there is no way they could afford to meet new FEMA flood zone standards. [More]
Although Allstate originally maintained that it hadn’t done anything wrong by using the image of a home ravaged by Sandy in an ad without obtaining permission from the couple who owned it, the insurance company says it’ll pull the image of that house. Besides the fact that the couple had no idea their home was in the commercial —which touts Allstate’s great customer service — they say Allstate is low-balling them on their insurance claim. [More]
For the last few years, the folks at the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been issuing more accurate flood plain maps at the same time as the government has made a renewed push for mortgage lenders to help make sure homeowners who need flood insurance are actually purchasing it. But even though these new maps should be making it more clear to everyone whether or not one’s home is in a flood plain, the banks appear to be playing fast and loose with the rules in order to force customers into more expensive insurance policies.
Reader Nate and his wife recently bought their dream home, which they admit is more modest than most people’s dream homes, for $60,000. During closing, they wrote in their offer “that if the home was found to be in a flood plane we withdrew our offer,” but were happy to find out that the house was, in fact, not in a flood plain. That is, until Chase, decided that their house was in a flood plain after all and is requiring $185,000 in flood insurance.