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Deadline Nears to Buy Low-Cost Flood Insurance

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency are warning property owners in southeast Los Angeles County that Thursday may be the final deadline to buy low-rate flood insurance before premiums increase with the introduction of a federal flood hazard zone.

Insurance rates could double for most home and business owners when the 66-square-mile zone takes effect July 6. Federal officials say they are worried that some property owners will wait until the last minute to buy cheaper insurance and find that insurance agents are closed for business.

“Our main concern is that people get [insurance] by the end of [the business day] July 2, because with the long weekend holiday many of the insurance agents will not be working on Friday,” said FEMA spokesman Alex Newton. “Thursday may be the last time to get [low-rate] insurance and save a significant amount of money.”

Starting Monday, property owners in the zone who hold mortgages regulated by the federal government will have to buy federal flood insurance or face the prospect of lenders buying more costly policies and passing on the cost.

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The flood zone reflects officials’ fears that the Los Angeles River and its tributaries would not adequately protect portions of 14 communities along the southern stretch of the river in the event of a 100-year flood.


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