How will Flood Insurance change in Florida?

IMG_0741The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is a law passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2012 that extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, while requiring significant program reform.   A recent November 2013 Florida TaxWatch study determined exactly how Bigger-Waters impacted Florida and its counties. Florida TaxWatch a non- partisan group that provides the citizens of Florida with independent research and analysis of issues related to state and local government taxation, expenditures, policies, and programs. Their findings are summarized as follows:

  • Floridians paid $3.60 in flood premiums for every $1 that came back to cover damages.  On the other hand, Mississippi receives $5.00 in claims for every $1.00 paid in premiums.
  • Florida has more than 2.05 million policies. Of those, 268,648 (13 percent) are subsidized. The Act directly impacts the subsidized policies.
  • Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Lee counties have almost 48 percent of the state’s subsidized policies and will be most affected by upcoming policy cost increases.
  • Monroe County has the highest density of subsidized policies (percent of all those with flood policies that are subsidized) – more than double the density of Florida’s next-highest county, Pinellas.
  • Most of NFIP’s current $24 billion debt is due to claims from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, which had minimal impact on Florida.
  • Two Florida hurricanes tapped into NFIP resources: Tropical Storm Isaac in 2012 ($407 million in paid claims) and Hurricane Wilma in 2005 ($365 million).

According to the study, “The changes required by the Biggert-Waters Act are already affecting home sales in Florida, when purchasers or potential purchasers learn of the increased costs of the new flood insurance rate structure. This could continue to lead to significant reductions in home sales and values.”

Conclusion

If the subsides are removed and considering the amount of properties in the flood plain, I agree with the Florida TaxWatch study that these homes will be negatively affected.  If you are interested, you can identify homes within flood zones.

If you are interested in buying a new home or an existing home, please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty at 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511) and I can help you find a new home in the Tampa Bay Area.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for homes on my website at this link.

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