TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 21, 2013 – Congress extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years through last year’s Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. While the Act’s goal is to make NFIP pay for itself over time and ease a current deficit, it had unintended consequences as some homeowners discovered substantially higher costs for coverage.
Florida TaxWatch conducted a study to determine exactly how Bigger-Waters impacted Florida and its counties. Their findings:
• Floridians paid $3.60 in flood premiums for every $1 that came back to cover damages.
• Florida has more than 2.05 million policies. Of those, 268,648 (13 percent) are subsidized. The Act directly impacts the subsidized policies.
• Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Lee counties have almost 48 percent of the state’s subsidized policies and will be most affected by upcoming policy cost increases.
• Monroe County has the highest density of subsidized policies (percent of all those with flood policies that are subsidized) – more than double the density of Florida’s next-highest county, Pinellas.
• Most of NFIP’s current $24 billion debt is due to claims from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, which had minimal impact on Florida.
• Two Florida hurricanes tapped into NFIP resources: Tropical Storm Isaac in 2012 ($407 million in paid claims) and Hurricane Wilma in 2005 ($365 million).
In November, Florida joined Alabama in filing an Amicus Curae brief in a Mississippi lawsuit against FEMA. The lawsuit claims FEMA failed to conduct an affordability study of flood insurance premium changes as required in the Biggert-Waters Act, and asks the court to delay implementation of the changes until the required studies are completed.
To read the full Florida TaxWatch report or get more flood insurance information, vist the Flood Insurance Toolkit on Florida Realtors’ website.
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.