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Expand chart
Data: QuoteWizard; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

More than 70% of Philadelphians with flood insurance can expect to see their rates increase after the Federal Emergency Management Agency changed the way it prices the coverage this month.

Why it matters: Pennsylvania is already the fourth most expensive state in the U.S. for flood insurance, averaging around $1,326 a year, according to QuoteWizard/Lending Tree. That's compared to the national average of $958.

  • Philadelphia's average, at $970, is also above the national line.

Meanwhile, climate studies show that extreme weather disaster events — such as heavier rainstorms — are worsening, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

  • Philadelphia and its suburbs are still recovering from the Labor Day weekend flooding following Hurricane Ida that completely submerged the busy I-676. Five people died from the storm in neighboring Pennsylvania counties.

What's happening: FEMA's switch to a new flood insurance pricing system on Oct. 1 means that 65% of Philadelphia policyholders will likely have to pay an increase ranging from $1-10 per month, according to QuoteWizard analysts. Meanwhile, 6% will see even higher increases, ranging between $10-$100 per month.

  • In nearby Montgomery County, 59% of policyholders will see an increase, along with 36% and 67% in Delaware and Bucks counties.

Context: Before Friday, the National Flood Insurance Program subsidized flood insurance based on a property’s elevation and location in a floodplain. And critics have long argued flood maps aren't updated enough to portray true risks.

  • The program has historically undercharged in certain areas. More than 4 million properties across the country face major flood risk and pay too little in insurance.
  • Communities of color disproportionately live in these more at-risk areas.

What's new: FEMA's new system, Risk Rating 2.0, is supposed to accurately reflect the present-day cost of flooding.

  • It'll now incorporate factors like flood frequency, flood types and distance to water when calculating risk.

Between the lines: Most Pennsylvanians' costs will be relatively small. Only 7% of policyholders in the state will pay an extra $20 or more per month.

  • Plus, premium increases will be limited to an 18% per year cap set by Congress for most policies.

Those with the most expensive homes and highest risk are likely to see the largest premium increases.

  • "They're going to be paying the cost because it costs more to replace them," QuoteWizard/LendingTree senior research analyst Nick VinZant said.

Go deeper: FEMA released figures showing how policyholders in each state will be affected.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 13, 2021 - Axios Denver

A reality check on Colorado's mandate to cover transgender services

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado made a national statement Tuesday, becoming the first state to require some insurers to cover transition-related care for transgender people as an essential benefit.

Driving the news: The Biden administration agreed to the expansion sought by Gov. Jared Polis and affirmed two more mandates approved by Colorado lawmakers to cover more opioid treatments and a yearly mental health exam.

Extreme weather spots in Illinois

A house on the 2700 block of Jonquil Lane suffered severe damage on June 21, 2021 after a tornado came through the area in Woodridge, Illinois. Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images

Monday night, a tornado briefly touched down in western LaSalle County and another reportedly flipped a semi-truck near Springfield.

Why it matters: According to new FEMA data analyzing the last two decades, Illinois is seeing an uptick in extreme weather disasters.

Biden headed to the Hill as Democrats struggle to reach deal on spending bills

President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leave a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday morning will meet with the House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill to provide an update about his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to a White House official.

Driving the news: The meeting comes as Democrats struggle to reach a deal on the spending bills. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that Democrats were planning to reach an agreement on the infrastructure package this week, before Biden's departure to Europe, which is slated for later on Thursday.