The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

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
  • twv twins One Hatfield, two actors

    If you shake hands with the cast and crew at Theatre West Virginia after the show, don’t worry if you think you’re seeing double.
    Jacob and James Cline, 12-year-old twins, are a part of the team this year, assisting  with props and portraying Little Troy Hatfield.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction begins on Meadow River Rail Trail

    Construction has finally begun on the Meadow River Rail Trail, a recreation project undertaken in a unique partnership between Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

    July 25, 2014

  • AARP reps talk future of Social Security

    The future of Social Security was on the menu at a listening session staged Thursday by AARP West Virginia at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

    July 25, 2014

  • Juvenile petitions sought against teens in Mount Hope B&Es

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two Page-area teens after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into early Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • US issues 186 mining citations in June

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed after Dirty Girl Run canceled

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn't be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • Juveniles caught after breaking and entering in Fayette

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two teens from the Page area after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into.

    July 24, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014