Flood insurance premiums cannot be paid in monthly installments like automobile and health care coverage can, leaving people who have just seen incredible increases in their flood premiums in a lurch.

Some Louisiana residents and others around the country have seen their flood insurance premiums go from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars overnight, thanks to the National Flood Insurance Program changes, in the Biggert-Waters Act, enacted in 2012. At a meeting earlier this week, state Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, said he knows of one woman whose insurance went from an annual payment of $400 to $24,000.

The financial burden is already overwhelming for many, and to add a requirement that it must be paid all at one time might be unbearable. FEMA has told Rep. Bill Cassidy’s office that it is working on a system that would allow people to make monthly payments, instead of one lump sum, but it’s not up and running yet.
This problem, and others, may be resolved, though, if a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators succeeds in pushing through a delay of the flood insurance legislation, called the Biggert-Waters Act. Then, the sky-high premiums — and the way in which they get paid — will no longer be an issue, for four years, at least.