Pinellas flood insurance rates climb

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. –   “The impact on our community is going to be severe,” said Anita Ford.

Ford pays almost $3,000 a year for flood insurance on her Treasure Island waterfront home. 

But under new National Flood Insurance guidelines, that amount will climb to nearly $10,000.

But her concerns are not just for her own property.

“What it’s going to do to our real estate market in these coastal communities, it’s going to be devastating,” Ford said.

Residents in Treasure Island are gathering Tuesday night to raise awareness about the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. 

Many homeowners, especially in Treasure Island, live in homes built before 1974, which was the year flood insurance mapping began.

Before 2013, those homeowners received a subsidy on flood insurance and that kept premiums low. 

Now, for some, the subsidy is going away and rates are going up.

“Based on that difference,  you’re going to be actuarially rated as to what your flood insurance premiums going to be; and it ain’t going to be cheap,” said Treasure Island Mayor Bob Minning.

It’s not just Treasure Island. 

Any Pinellas County property owner that has flood insurance or is thinking of adding it, along with anyone buying or selling a home, should educate themselves.

“Find out how it is going to directly impact you.  And I think once they realize that most everyone is going to be impacted, they’ll want to take some action,” Ford said.

Minning explained that Pinellas residents should take heed and act now.

“People that have a pre-1974 home, built slab on grade, that are in any of the flood zones, need to be concerned because it’s going to affect, or it will at least have the strong potential to affect your property value,” he said.

So get with your insurance or real estate agent and be prepared for flood insurance sticker shock.  

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