Thousands of Valley home owners could soon be receiving some shocking news. Home owners, who are required to buy flood insurance, could see their premiums double, and even triple in cost.
Changes in Federal Flood Insurance regulations are the culprit. Insurance agents say, everyone who is currently living in a flood plain and required to buy flood insurance could see a 15 to 25-percent increase in their premium.
Folks who've purchased a new flood insurance policy since July of 2012 could be hit the hardest.
Don Boone, Insurance Agent: "What's getting hit the worst right now are new homes. If a client wants to sell their home or if they want to buy a home in the flood zone, they need to pay the higher rate, which could be double or even triple of what they've paid in the past."
In some cases, a one-thousand dollar a year flood insurance policy could now cost five-thousand dollars. It's because Congress dropped the subsidy for flood insurance, in an effort to restore the national pool of money for it.
Matt Johnson, City of Crookston: "And with Katrina and the other hurricanes that have been happening, that fund has been depleted. So, they're trying to replenish those funds."
The good news for Crookston residents is their new levee system may be certified later this year and no one will be required to carry flood insurance.
However, in Fargo-Moorhead, where certification of a flood protection system is still years away, home owners could be stuck with very high flood insurance premiums.
That could cause big problems with the housing market. New home buyers would need to pay two, three-hundred dollars and even more every month, just for flood insurance.
Kevin Fisher, Park Company Realtors: "Not just people buying new homes… if they have to have flood insurance and FEMA raises the level on them, it could affect their ability to live in that home too."
The good news in all this is that Congress is already considering reinstating flood insurance subsidies.
Kevin Fisher: "We're hoping this "Affordability Act" will be voted on and passed… that people will review this and make sure the right decision is made."
It's expected that Congress could take up the issue within the next few weeks.
Folks in towns like Roseau and Warroad could also be hit hard by the current situation. Much of those towns are in a flood plain, and there are no plans for complete flood protection.