Flood insurance rate hike could affect home sales

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Nearly 7,700 Wisconsin residents and business owners are facing steep flood insurance premium increases that could threaten their pocketbooks and ability to sell their properties.

La Crosse resident Teresa Secord is among them. The 52-year-old paid $525 for insurance on her home last year. Based on a 2012 law, her bill was going to rise to nearly $3,700, based on true flood risk.

But earlier this month, Congress dialed back that legislation, and now her increase will be capped at 18 percent a year until the proper rate is reached. Policies for second homes and businesses will rise 25 percent a year.

The National flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt because collected premiums have not been able to cover claims paid out.

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