U.S. Overhauls Flood Insurance To Meet Rising Climate Change Risks

Frank Romero hasn’t faced a major flood in years but he nearly lost his home all the same - a victim of substantial insurance premiums for living in a designated risk area.

The New Mexico retiree, who still works as a locksmith, racked up a bill of almost $50,000 then junked his policy with the federal government’s insurance program when he faced a renewal rate of more than $11,000 a year.

‘A $600 jump in your mortgage is no fun, especially when it’s all going to pay the flood insurance - which is not going to protect anything,’ he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

‘Every month it was a mountain that I had to overcome.’

Amid worsening climate-fueled floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is overhauling its insurance rules to better reflect the real risks facing homeowners like Romero.

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