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Flood insurance woes for high-risk homeowners

Althea Chang

Deadly flooding in Colorado and the political climate in Washington are likely to drive up the price of flood insurance for people who live in high-risk areas around the country, according to one weather expert.

About 10 percent of Colorado home owners in high flood-risk areas actually have flood insurance, said Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel.

And because of the fiscal standoff in Washington, some real estate investors who do have flood insurance are expected to lose federal subsidies in October, he said.

"That has huge implications for real estate in those areas," Walsh said. "The biggest impact is probably going to be in Florida, where there's so many folks that have a second home. ... It takes an additional amount of dollars that you have to have to be able to afford [having] a house and to insure it. And we're not talking about small increases," Walsh said.

The cost of flood insurance could increase five to 10 times what homeowners currently pay in high flood-risk areas in Colorado as well as in Florida and other coastal areas, according to Walsh.

President Barack Obama has declared the Colorado floods a major disaster, making federal aid available to help the state recover and rebuild.

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Althea Chang