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Flood insurance likely rising for most Floridians as FEMA eyes changes

NFIP looks at "Risk Rating 2.0", with more homeowners required to get flood insurance.
State pushes new safety recommendations as hurricane season begins
Posted at 9:51 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 09:40:39-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Insurance is never supposed to be exciting.

The idea here is for insurance to offer peace of mind, for a person to pay a premium to ensure that, when the worst happens, the client is covered.

Flood insurance in Florida is never meant to be exciting but it is a reality of living in the state.

"If you're inland Florida, you're still 80 miles from the coast," said Brian Chapman, CEO/Agent with Chapman Insurance Group, based in Cape Coral. "There's a potential that there's flood zones from lakes and levees. Probably more than one-third of the flood insurance dollars come from Florida because our premiums are higher here for flood insurance."

For policy owners in Florida, expect to pay more. Redfin reports that 88 percent of the state's flood insurance policyholders will pay more in 2022.

"It used to be around $800 or $1,000," Chapman said for a policyholder last year. However, he said, for a person buying flood insurance for the first time, the premiums are much higher.

"Now it's somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 for the same, exact program that you would have bought six months ago. That's a big impact."

Chapman also points to the magnitude of Risk Rating 2.0, an updated method to calculate flood insurance costs and coverage. FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the new ratings will bring updated maps, flood zones, and, likely, more people being required to carry flood insurance if they still carry a mortgage.

Chapman notes the impact just in Lee County.

"There are 22,000 structures that are going to, now, be in a flood zone," said Chapman. "Now people that are going to have to buy flood insurance on their house because they're now being put into a flood zone. They weren't when they bought the house."

Flood insurance also carries one major distinction from other forms of coverage.

"You've got hurricane season and you've got a 30-day wait to be able to buy a policy," said Chapman. "You have to be aware of that unless it's a loan closing or a new purchase. If you're just living in your house and you feel like 'this is the year I need to buy flood insurance', you have to have a 30-day wait."

While no one welcomes higher premiums, Chapman also stresses that insurance specialists in Florida have to be on top of flood insurance trends and details.

Lee County Flood Zones:

https://leegis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e8aaa958436d4b2b9924b20eb77b8969 [leegis.maps.arcgis.com]

Charlotte County Flood Zones:

https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/departments/public-safety/emergency-management/know-your-zone.stml [charlottecountyfl.gov]

Collier County Flood Zones:

https://www.colliercountyfl.gov/government/growth-management/divisions/building-plan-review-inspection/floodplain-management-section/2019-preliminary-coastal-flood-maps [colliercountyfl.gov]


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