February 25th, 2015
After recently being named the state with the highest homeowners insurance premiums, those who own a second home in Florida will be subject to a flood insurance price hike. ABC affiliate WWSB in Sarasota, Florida reported those who do not claim Florida as their primary residence, but who own a home in the state will be slapped with a $250 surcharge to cover a rise in flood insurance. Whereas, residents of the state will only have to pay a $25 surcharge. This comes in addition to homeowners insurance rate hikes which are expected to increase approximately 18 percent.
Despite not having a hurricane touch down in the state in almost nine years, Florida still has the notorious record of hosting four of the most costly natural disasters in the U.S. Sun Sentinel pointed out that from 1978 through the end of 2014, Florida accounted for 37 percent of all policies written by the National Flood Insurance Program. This lingering statistical reputation for catastrophe means that insurers are not likely to grant Floridians discounted rates on flood insurance any time soon.
But change is coming to the Sunshine State. One way the state government is attempting to curb these rate hikes is by trying out new insurance methods. Specifically, the legislature recently passed a bill that allows the formation of a parallel private market to sell flood insurance. The St. Petersburg Tribune reported the legislation should offer homeowners additional coverage options in the flood insurance market to assist in lowering premiums.
"This bill just offers a lot more flexibility, so you can bring down the cost and have affordable flood insurance coverage," Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes told the Tribune. "It's not affordable long-term for many Floridians."
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