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Flood insurance changes mean higher costs

The new flood insurance rules are causing anxiety. In Marblehead, for example, the annual premium for Harborside Condominiums will soar, according to one condo owner there.
The new flood insurance rules are causing anxiety. In Marblehead, for example, the annual premium for Harborside Condominiums will soar, according to one condo owner there.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

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Changes to the federal flood insurance program are raising fears in communities from Salem to Scituate to Brockton that the costs of protecting homes and businesses from water damage are about to skyrocket as the government redraws flood zone maps and phases out subsidies.

The controversial changes, which have spurred protests in coastal communities, could require thousands of Massachusetts homeowners to buy flood insurance for the first time and raise average premiums of existing customers by as much as 25 percent annually, or about $300 a year.

For some seaside home and business owners, premiums will jump by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a year as map revisions place their properties into higher risk flood zones or they lose government subsidies.

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