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Flood elevation changes could mean higher insurance rates for older mobile homes in Lee County

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 08:53:56-04

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — Families in Lee County who choose to build or replace mobile homes in areas prone to flooding will eventually be required to raise the base height of their homes.

Lee County commissioners told me they are in the beginning stages of implementing these new elevation requirements.

How it works is, only new and replaced mobile homes in areas prone to flooding will have to be built at least one foot above the base flood elevation level.

As for the older homes, Brian Chapman, the CEO of Chapman Insurance Group told me the new regulations don't apply, but it could impact the rate they pay.

“You get kind of grandfathered in, we kind of let you come up when you come up… but it doesn't mean they won't charge you a rate that is higher if you are not meeting the current requirements,” said Chapman.

Every three years, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said FEMA audits the county’s flood mitigation efforts to justify their flood insurance discount.

“It's important that we look at these new regulations to give our residents the best chance to have the most affordable flood insurance,” said Hamman.

By following these regulations, Lee County is able to offer homeowners a 25% discount on their flood insurance.

During a time when Chapman said rates have gone up thousands.

“So that discount goes from 0-45% and it's a true rate break, it's a true rate discount,” said Chapman.

Chapman said in the past, coastal areas like Port Carlos Cove down off Fort Myers Beach, tend to, but do not always, have a higher base flood requirement compared to inland areas.

Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said the county is just now starting this process and FEMA's audit begins on August 31.