The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 30, 2014

New W.Va. law will help lower the cost of flood insurance

A new state law, signed Thursday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, will help residents with rising flood insurance costs by opening the market to private insurers. Flood insurance is now usually purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program, which recently hiked premiums because of high pay-outs from federally declared disasters like Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 was passed in order to phase out government subsidies of flood insurance for properties that are in floodplains, and to bring those premiums in line with the risk.

The state law, sponsored by Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Ohio, will allow out-of-state insurers to offer policies to West Virginians, potentially at a cheaper rate than NFIP.

Fitzsimmons said Thursday that rates will never be as low as they were under the federally subsidized program, but insurers could more accurately assess the risk, which would not be tied to coastal properties that see damage from hurricanes. Inland risks are more predictable than coastal flooding, Fitzsimmons said.

“People who live in these areas know how to adequately prepare (for flooding),” Fitzsimmons said. “Hopefully, we can reduce those flood insurance premiums.”

The law also allows homeowners to cover their property for less than replacement value or for the remaining balance of their mortgages.

Fitzsimmons said because there is no private market at this point, premiums are driven higher by lack of competition.

While others are happy that President Barack Obama recently signed a law that delays the rate hikes in NFIP, Fitzsimmons said that essentially “kicks the can down the road.”

“You may see a hindrance in the development of the private market because of that, but it will still be there in the end,” he said.

The new law goes into effect June 5.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday.

    The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.


    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years. 

    Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day.

    A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.


    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story