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How much FEMA discount saves you, and what Lee County, cities can do to keep it

Did you know the flood insurance discount saves the average Lee County customer $300 a year on their flood insurance premiums?
FEMA flood insurance
Posted at 8:10 PM, Apr 09, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The clock is ticking for Lee County and four other municipalities to get back into the good graces of FEMA.

Monday, the federal agency granted the five local governments an additional 30 days to provide documentation to keep its flood insurance discount.

If the discount is removed, it could cost the average Lee County customer an additional $300 a year.

“Unfortunately, FEMA has to get tough with communities,” said Trevor Burgess, the CEO and Neptune Flood Insurance, one of the few private flood insurance companies in the market.

FEMA has argued Lee County, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, the Village of Estero and the Town of Fort Myers Beach allowed too much permitted work and had a lack of documentation in the build back since Hurricane Ian.

All five local governments dispute those claims.

Lee County plans to release an online portal where residents can view the county’s communications with FEMA themselves.

Burgess says it’s not unusual for local governments to lose their flood insurance discount from FEMA while recovering.

However, it’s not usually in a county as large as this one, according to Burgess.

“Normally it’s a small town or one little municipality. I think part of the issue here is it’s impacting such a large (area),” said Burgess. “I think it’s the sheer number of people that are impacted here that’s driving all of the attention here.”

FEMA and Lee County leaders met Monday afternoon.

Both say they want to work to keep the discount.