Oct
14

Flood Insurance Rates Skyrocket in Beaufort County

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A national flood-insurance rate hike that took effect Oct. 1 is hitting some Beaufort County property owners hard and worrying local real estate agents.

Some who recently purchased property are seeing their rates increase tenfold, while rates for second homes or rental units are climbing 25 percent a year, with more raises to come. Local real estate agents say they’ve lost some deals after prospective buyers realized the cost of insurance, which can run more than $10,000 a year.

“There is definitely a shakeup in the industry,” said John Alagna, who owns Hilton Head-based Carolina Heritage Insurance. “This will impact a lot of people in the area.”

The rate increase stems from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by Congress to keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent after a barrage of claims from catastrophes such as hurricanes Katrina and Irene.

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