Property owners urged to buy flood insurance before rates jump

Flood insurance rates are going up.
Flood insurance rates are going up.

HONOLULU (AP) - Emergency management officials are urging Oahu property owners to buy flood insurance at current rates before new flood maps - and resulting prices - kick in next month.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says new National Flood Insurance Program rate maps are set to be implemented on Jan. 19.

Areas impacted by the map changes include Hawaii Kai, Ala Moana-Kakaako, Ewa Beach and Makaha.

The agency says property owners in special flood hazard areas who hold federally backed mortgages will be required to purchase flood insurance.

Homeowners and business owners who purchase a policy before Jan. 19 can take advantage of lower premiums that could save hundreds of dollars annually.

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