Pinellas flood insurance rates get Governor's attention - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas flood insurance rates get Governor's attention

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Pinellas is ground zero for what's being called a disaster in flood insurance rate hikes.

Today Governor Rick Scott made a point to come Pinellas County to call for action.

"Today I'm here to call on the President to take immediate action on the flood insurance problem that's going to devastate our real estate market right here,"  said Governor Rick Scott.

Scott says after 35 years, Floridians have only gotten back a fourth of the amount paid in flood premiums and are still facing drastic increases, thanks to the Biggert-Waters Act.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and other local officials joined the Governor in speaking to a crowd of realtors who area bracing for another housing crisis.

"So I am going to call upon the state and Attorney General to see if there is anything legally they can do in the court systems to just get a pause button," said Foster.

Shore acres is one St. Petersburg neighborhood feeling a huge impact from flood insurance rates, even though most of the homes there are average size and are not on the water.

The new flood insurance rates are already hurting Shannon Tefft.  She's trying to sell her $180,000 home, to move out West to care for a sick relative. "We would've had this home sold already a month ago,but unfortunately the buyers would not afford the insurance they were quoted for flood insurance so here we sit and wait," said Tefft.

She says if she can't sell and has to pay the quoted $5000 a year in flood insurance premiums, she'll walk away from the home.

33,000 Pinellas homeowners could be facing the same choices.

 

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