DENHAM SPRINGS- Following one man's flood insurance rate hike, WBRZ's Chris Nakamoto went digging for answers and finally have them to explain what happened.
Billy Hames' flood premium went up hundreds of dollars after his Denham Springs home flooded. He filed a claim after losing everything, but he wanted to know why his bill skyrocketed. Following last month's record flood, FEMA said it would not raise rates or remap.
Tonight we've learned Hames' hike is from flood insurance reform. The timing was purely coincidental to the Great Flood of 2016.
The Biggert Waters Act of 2012 was passed by congress and signed by the President requiring significant program reform.
*Law requires changes to all major components of the program, including flood insurance, flood hazard mapping, grants and the management of floodplains.
*The changes are designed to make the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more financially stable.
*The changes are designed to increase the fiscal soundness of the NFIP.
*There are provisions to adjust premium rates to more accurately reflect flood risk.
Hames told us last week, he didn't know how he was going to rebuild.
"I think my decision has been made for me," Hames said. "I don't know any other way out."
He says his wife had a heart attack the moment she pulled up to their flooded home that they've lived in for 30 years. She's been hospitalized since.
"It hurts," Hames said.
Based on the 2012 legislation, if you haven't received an increase you can expect one as fees go up each year.