Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 – also known as BW-12- a law overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2012 that targets high-risk flood zone properties whose owners have received subsidized flood insurance rates and "grandfathered” flood insurance premiums through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Residents are really wondering how they are going to afford these higher premiums. Please write your congressman addressing the "Affordability Issue" that is surrounding this National Flood Insurance Program. Pinellas County is the No.1 county in Florida and the nation impacted by this new law.

If you are one of the 51,000 policies in Pinellas County affected by this increase here are some steps you can take:

  • You should contact your insurance agent if you have questions on your flood insurance rate, flood zone mapping, and annual policy rate.

 

  • Get an Elevation Certificate for your Property.  This can be performed by a Florida-licensed surveyor. The cost of this certificate can vary from $150 or more, depending on the location and complexity of the survey. Some neighborhoods have contracted a single company to do multiple surveys for a reduced rate.

 

 

  • Write your congressman addressing the "Affordability Issue" . There was an affordability study that was supposed to be completed prior to the new rates kicking in. These letters from residents could delay the program.

 

The Honorable Bill Nelson

716 Senate Hart Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable C.W. Bill Young

2407 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Marco Rubio

284 Russell Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Kathy Castor

205 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Gus Bilirakis

2313 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 These rate increases will cause home values to go down. Something that Pinellas County residents have been experience over the past 7 years. Homeowners risk losing everything which will affect the economic development of not only this county which will be the hardest hit as a state we face lost tax revenue. Homes in these flood zones could cause tons of mortgages to be default and banks will once again be left scrambling for the massive losses on their returns and equity.

Here is a link to Channel 10 News that covered this story for us on October 22nd, 2013.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/341518/250/Flood-insurance-rates-could-spawn-another-foreclosure-crisis