FL flood insurance rates may rise - WFLA News Channel 8

FL flood insurance rates may rise

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

For decades, many property owners in low-lying areas have enjoyed cheaper, federally subsidized flood insurance premiums. But that's changing.

"There were some older homes that they felt that they could not burden the property owner with these rates and they thought that these properties would turn over and be raised or elevated, and that just did not happen enough," said Patty Templeton-Jones, of St. Petersburg-based Wright National Flood Insurance Co, the largest writer of federal flood insurance in the country.

"I think Katrina really brought it to the forefront, when we saw a lot of older homes, a lot of areas that were really devastating. Before that period, the flood program was self sustaining," Templeton-Jones said.

Congress passed a law last year to get rid of many of these subsidies in phases. The first batch of increases are for those with second homes. Those started in January. In October, owners of older homes and businesses in low-lying areas, that now enjoy the subsidy, could see the sticker shock.

They face increases of up to 25 percent a year for several years. Agents have been giving out examples like this: $3,000 premiums could go to $12,000; $9,000 premiums could soar to $22,000.

"If you own an older home, the best thing to do is purchase an elevation certificate, talk to your insurance agent, so you can get a better feel for what is going to be required and what you will need to do for the future," Templeton-Jones said.

If you bought a home with this subsidy after July 6, 2012, when this law was signed, you'll lose that entire subsidy in October.

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