Tag Archives: flood in south florida

6.6 Million Homes in the United States at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge Damage

In a recent article published on CoreLogic, more than 6.6 million homes on the Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast are at risk of storm surge inundation from a hurricane. An estimated $1.5 trillion is needed for a total reconstruction, should this natural disaster strikes and affects these homes.

The analysis from CoreLogic finds that around 3.8 million homes situated on the Atlantic Coast and an additional 2.9 million homes on Gulf Coast are prone to hurricane storm surge flooding. In terms of total reconstruction cost value (RCV), an estimated $939 billion will be needed for affected Atlantic Coast homes while $549 billion will be allotted for Gulf Coast homes.

What are the most vulnerable states to hurricane storm surge flooding?

Yes, you guessed it right. Florida has the highest total number of properties at different risk levels. Around 2,509, 812 properties in Florida are prone to the destructive effects of hurricane storm surge. Aside from Florida, other states that have the highest total number of properties at risk are Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.

In terms of total reconstruction cost value (RCV), the five states that have been found by CoreLogic to have the highest RCT for homes at risk are the following: Florida with $491,119,183,016, New York with $177,398,620,779, Louisiana with $162,096,659,527, New Jersey with $126,829,146,685, and Virginia with $91,049,049,641.

You can find more information on the study by clicking here.

How to protect your South Florida property investment?

You may be required by law to have a flood insurance coverage for your South Florida property if it is situated in an area with a high risk of flooding. You should be aware that flood insurance is not included in homeowner’s insurance policies. This is purchased separately.

Flood insurance providers in Florida conduct studies on flood risks by studying topographical maps that show flood risks in areas like lowlands, floodways, and floodplains. In South Florida, residents enjoy the benefits of living close to the coast, but this location is so flat that a sea level rise of 5 to 7 inches can lead to destructive problems, according to Dr. Leonard Berry, former director of the Center of Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University.

If your property is situated in an area where there is high risk of flooding, you should get the best and most affordable flood insurance in South Florida. If you need a flood insurance quote for your South Florida property, contact us through 954-734-7429. We’ll make sure that your property gets the right coverage at the right price!

House agrees to roll back flood insurance rate increases

By Lisa Mascaro

8:22 p.m. EST, March 4, 2014

Flood Insurance Florida Rates

WASHINGTON – In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to roll back flood insurance Florida rate increases that have devastated many homeowners in coastal communities and dogged lawmakers on the campaign trail.


The deal, brokered by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) with a bipartisan coalition of coastal state lawmakers, sailed through the House, 306 to 91, despite protests from conservative Republicans that the changes would add to the national debt.

“It is said by the media and others that we cannot work together,” Waters said before the vote. “This is a time when we really can demonstrate that we really do care about the citizens of this country.”

The unusual moment of comity in the deeply partisan House left lawmakers almost gushing over the new relationships they had formed working with one another across the aisle.


Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who told horror stories of his constituents facing massive insurance rate increases on their homes, said, “It is nice, once in a while, where we can work together and get something done.”

The legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which passed a bipartisan bill this year that was essentially dead on arrival in the House. That measure added $2.1 billion to the deficit over the decade and was rejected by GOP leaders.


Waters pushed the Senate version forward in the House over the objections of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other leaders, and forced procedural votes on the bill last month.


Even though she failed, the exercise increased pressure for a compromise by putting Republican lawmakers in the uncomfortable position of having to oppose legislation many of their constituents wanted.


Flood insurance rates started skyrocketing last year after new provisions went into effect as part of an earlier overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program that was signed into law in 2012.


That earlier effort sought to push up flood insurance rates to more accurately reflect risk and cover a deficit in the flood insurance program.


But homeowners, including those in the gulf states and in the path of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, saw enormous rate increases as their properties were suddenly included in federal flood insurance maps. Others complained they could not sell their homes because buyers could not afford the higher rates.


The Senate bill simply delayed the increases for four years while the Federal Emergency Management Agency studied the issue.

The House compromise would roll back some rates and allow more modest rate increases of 5% a year on others, with a cap of 18% a year on primary residences.


To avoid raising the deficit, the House bill would impose a $25 fee on each household, $250 on businesses and second homes.

Outside conservative groups, including Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, pushed for a “no” vote.


The issue has been particularly important in Louisiana, where Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, who had been a chief supporter of the Senate bill, faces a difficult reelection fight. She worked with Waters on the compromise. Among her opponents is Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who also supported the bill in the House.

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Twitter: @lisamascaroinDC

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times



Florida grapples with own flood-insurance fix

This file photo shows heavy street flooding in Sun Valley East in western Boynton Beach, due to Tropical Storm Isaac in 2005. (Jon Way / Sun Sentinel / August 27, 2012
By Tonya Alanez, Sun SentinelMarch 16, 2014

South Florida homeowners, facing steadily rising flood-insurance costs, may be in line for a break, courtesy of the state.


The state legislation is designed to create a competitive, private-insurance market in Florida. Homeowners also could save by choosing to cover as little as the remaining balance of their mortgages.


“This is really an original idea on how free-market insurance should be bought and sold in Florida,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. “The two hallmarks of our bill that drive down rates are flexibility in coverage and competition in the marketplace.”


Costs will fall, Brandes said, because homeowners will be able to buy the amount of insurance they can afford, insurers will be taking on less risk and they’ll be competing to write flood policies.


Despite Congress‘ vote Thursday to limit premium increases to 18 percent a year, Brandes says his measure is necessary to bust the federal monopoly on flood insurance and to ensure long-term affordability of policies.


Right now, property owners can buy flood insurance only from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its National Flood Insurance Program, facing soaring debt, underwent a major reform in 2012 that was expected to lead to skyrocketing rate increases of as much as 900 percent for some homeowners.
More than 2 million homes in Florida are insured through the federal program. Of those, more than 372,000 are in Broward County, more than 162,000 in Palm Beach and more than 368,000 in Miami-Dade.


Skeptics are doubtful that new insurers would flock to the Florida market and doubt Brandes’ proposal would drive down rates.


Chris Heidrick, who owns Heidrick & Co. Insurance agency in Sanibel and sells policies in South Florida, wonders if it’s just “a feel-good bill.”


“What happens at the state level, it certainly can’t hurt,” Heidrick said. “But the changes in federal law … are really what’s going to make the difference.”


Brandes’ bill (SB 542), poised for a final vote on the Senate floor, would allow homeowners to limit coverage to the remainder of their mortgages.


That’s a sticking point for Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, who is sponsoring a bill (HB 879) similar to Brandes’ that calls for more coverage. Hooper said he worries about homeowners unable to afford to rebuild if they suffered a total loss because of flood damage.

“You now have a damaged house sitting on a good street in a nice community with no repair, no chance of being repaired and unable to sell,” Hooper said. “I don’t want to start a process where that could start a decline in a street, or a community, or a beach. Nobody likes an eyesore in their community.”


Brandes counters that “very, very, very few homes see catastrophic floods.” And he notes that homes without mortgages aren’t required to carry flood insurance.


Brandes’ bill requires coverage to meet federal lending and regulatory standards and that should appease lender concerns, said Anthony DiMarco, the Florida Bankers Association’s executive vice president of governmental affairs.


“We’re supportive of the concept; we’re supportive of the bill,” DiMarco said. “Hopefully this will help the real estate market, and this will help people stay in their homes.”


Even so, insurance companies are not lining up to offer private flood insurance in Florida, said Jeff Grady, president and CEO of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents.


Agents would prefer to “stick with the federal program and continue to make that work,” he said, adding they are supportive of the reforms being made by Congress.

“It is a guaranteed claims payment from the federal government if things go bad,” Grady said. “The private market is very undeveloped, it’s not stable, and some of the carriers’ financial strength is questionable as compared to the federal government.”


Thursday’s vote in Congress would make the pending rate surge more gradual and manageable, capping annual premium increases at 18 percent for primary residences.


Brandes said, “18 percent is better than 900 percent. But for the long term for Florida, we have to control our own destiny regarding flood insurance.” Over time, even an 18 percent increase would take rates too high, he said.


Despite the differences between the Florida House and Senate bills, Hooper said he’s confident the two chambers will find common ground.

“We’ll figure out how to come to some sort of an agreement,” Hooper said. “I don’t think we’ll leave Tallahassee without some flood insurance legislation sent to the governor’s desk. It’s too important.”