Fla. homeowners need legislative help to afford flood insurance - WFLA News Channel 8

Fla. homeowners need legislative help to afford flood insurance

Posted: Updated:
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Angela Leonardo and her husband pay about $1,100 a year for flood insurance on their New Port Richey home. But starting next month, that rate will skyrocket to $8,000.

"I was devastated," she said.

That means their mortgage would go up by $700 a month, leaving them no option but to sell the home they love, or let in go in foreclosure.

"They're going to force us out of our home," she said. "We had planned to be here forever."

Related content:  more stories about Florida flood insurance hikes

The Leonardos are among thousands facing dramatic increases. A federal subsidy that kept rates affordable for those in flood zones, expired oct. 1, leading to unbelievable rate hikes.

Florida legislators took its first step this week to allow private companies to offer alternatives to the flood insurance now available only through the federal government. A bill passed through the Senate committee.

One private company, Tampa-based Homeowner's Choice, has already been approved to write flood policies for current customers. CEO Paresh Patel says they'll keep homeowner's rates exactly the same as they are now.

"We did this because we are Floridians and there are Floridians that need help and it was the right thing to do. We're offering an alternative if you find yourself in a point of crisis.

If the legislation passes, other private companies could follow suit, and that may be the only way leonardo can stay in her home.

"I want it be more affordable and a reasonable rate so that we could stay here. we want our home, we love this home. we've found our church. we have friends here, finally, and we don't want to move."

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa teen beaten by Israelis speaks out

    Tampa teen beaten by Israelis speaks out

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:58:24 GMT
    Pictures of Tariq AbukhdeirPictures of Tariq Abukhdeir
    Tariq Abukhdeir was at the center of an international firestorm after Israeli security forces were captured on video beating the 15-year-old.
    Tariq Abukhdeir was at the center of an international firestorm after Israeli security forces were captured on video beating the 15-year-old.

  • 20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:47:27 GMT
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
  • Mother takes stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Mother to take stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:07:55 GMT
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.