CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Richard Holmes was prepared to lose his recently purchased St. Albans home ever since he learned his flood insurance premiums would cause his monthly payments to double.
But over the weekend, he received some unexpected news that could make his home a little more affordable, at least for now.
Holmes said he received a declaration page for his insurance for the originally quoted price of $1,477 a year -- a far cry from the $12,000 a year he thought he would have to pay.
"I don't know what changed their mind," Holmes said. "I don't know what happened, but they did send me that declaration page."
But concerns remain.
Holmes said he doesn't know what kind of rate increase is in store for him next year and whether he will try to move before then.
Holmes, who works as a coal miner in Danville, told the Daily Mail in a previous interview that he knew his home was in a flood zone when he bought it.
At closing, he was told his flood insurance would be $1,470 a year, but that figure then shot up to $12,000 a year.
He bought his house for $160,000, and the extra money required for flood insurance meant his monthly payments doubled.
Homeowners nationwide are experiencing similar problems because of increasing flood insurance premiums under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.
The act, which was attached to the federal transportation bill, was meant to shore up the National Flood Insurance Program because of multiple claims from Hurricane Katrina.
In West Virginia, 60 percent of policies are subsidized.
Even if people are grandfathered into their primary residence's subsidized rate, rates can increase if homeowners sell their property, let the policy lapse, buy a new policy, or if their property sustains flood damage.
Starting Jan. 1, people who own a second home in a Special Flood Hazard Area also will see increases amounting to 25 percent annually until the rate reflects true risks.