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FEMA announces increase in flood insurance premiums

Sat Apr 9th, 2016 on     Insurance Law,    

It may seem hard to believe, but we are now less than two months away from the start of the 2016 hurricane season. While everyone is naturally keeping their fingers crossed for another quiet year here in the Sunshine State, they will nevertheless want to ensure that they are ready in the event the now decade-long streak of good luck runs out.

While this includes everything from restocking shelves or checking on supplies, it also means making sure that flood insurance is purchased via the National Flood Insurance Program by sometime next month.

Those planning to take this step/renew existing coverage should be aware, however, that just last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that the premiums would be increasing next year as efforts continue to try and erase the $24 billion debt incurred as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, as well as other recent weather-related events.

According to reports, the flood insurance premiums will increase by an average of roughly 9 percent across the nation, not including both fees and surcharges.

However, breaking the numbers down a bit further, government officials are projecting much larger hikes for the following types of properties:

  • Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (pre-FIRM) properties, meaning those that were grandfathered, subsidized and otherwise built before the first flood zone maps were drafted in the 1980s, will see premiums jump by 25 percent (grandfathered-in primary homes will see 18 percent premium hikes).
  • Preferred-risk policies, meaning those located in moderate- to low-risk flood zones and not required to carry flood insurance as their mortgage is not backed by the federal government, will see premiums rise by up to 15 percent.

While premium spikes like these are never popular, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is nevertheless urging people to ensure they have the necessary coverage, as the threat of non-hurricane-related heavy rain is always present in the Sunshine State.

If you have questions or concerns related to denied or delayed claims under a homeowners’ policy or flood insurance policy, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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