Heads up, Tampa Bay homeowners!
Heads up! If you’re a resident of Tampa Bay or surrounding FL city, you are at risk of seeing an increase in your flood insurance rates. Read on to learn how you may be affected.
On April 1, homeowners will see flood insurance rates increase. The congressional act that revised federal insurance premiums goes into effect, slowly phasing out subsidized flood insurance for more than a million homeowners with houses in flood zones.
You can expect affordable rates to increase up to 25% each year until the premiums equal the full risk of settling down on property mapped as a flood zone. For some, this means paying an insurance rate that is higher than their mortgage. Yikes!
While there’s no question why more affordable rates were favored in the state of FL, it’s important to consider why this policy change is taking place. The National Flood Insurance Program is cited at $24 billion in debt because revenue from the discounted premiums could not cover payments on flood claims (particularly after two devastating hurricanes; Katrina & Sandy). As the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic ocean continue rise by a few millimeters each year, storm surge from hurricanes will only worsen with potential for even greater damage.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Will you the policy change affect your home? There are a few things you can do to seek help. Homeowners lower their insurance costs with upgrades to make their houses less vulnerable to flooding— such as stilts and bricks. Check out the Grandfather Rule. If your home was classified as low-risk under old maps, but is now high-risk, you may qualify for lower rates if you’re already covered by a policy. Under a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP), you may pay as little as $129 per year for flood insurance, and you may renew for two years after new maps are in place.
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