Realtors in West Virginia are worried about a new issue: increasing rates for flood insurance, brought on by reforms enacted last year in the federal Biggert-Waters Act. The act removes subsidies for flood insurance on second homes, as well as for homes that are sold or that are repeatedly damaged by flood — or in cases where the insurance policy lapses.

"It's going to have a big effect in Kanawha County," Chuck Grishaber, county floodplain manager, told the Charleston Daily Mail ("State braces for flood insurance rate hike," by Matt Murphy). "It's already started. I'm getting inundated with phone calls."

"Nationally, only about 20 percent of all flood insurance policies are subsidized," the Daily Mail reports. "In West Virginia, it's about 60 percent, said Richard Carte, an assistant coordinator for the National Flood Insurance Program in West Virginia. 'West Virginia is going to be hit harder,' he said... Carte said one of the most important things policyholders for primary residences can do is not let their policy lapse. If a homeowner tries to renew their subsidized policy after allowing it to lapse, they will be faced with a much higher rate."