Starting October 1, residents in flood zones can expect to see an increase in flood insurance rates.
That's because the second phase of changes under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, a law that phases out subsidized rates for older properties in flood zones, is about to take effect.
The changes are designed to make the National Flood Insurance Program more financially stable, but here in our area it appears it's going to have the opposite effect on local homeowners, especially in Pinellas County.
According to data released at the seminar, 1,400 Pinellas County businesses and 5,200 homes in high-risk areas will immediately lose their flood insurance subsidies.
Saturday, a rally opposing the planned rate increases is being planned for noon at Ballast Point Park, 5300 Interbay Blvd.
Click the video to see the segment.
Local real estate agents say if you're buying or selling a home and are concerned about flood insurance rates, always be sure to find out what the rates will be during the home-buying process.
- Get an elevation certificate by a surveyor to determine which flood zone you are in, if any.
- Get the elevation certificate in the beginning of the home-buying process or around the time you're getting your home inspection, rather than the end.
- The flood insurance rates could have an effect on how much you are approved for, for a mortgage.
- If you're selling in a flood zone, factor in the flood insurance rates when you consider your asking price.
For more information, head to the Dufala Realty Group's website at http://www.dufalarealtygroup.com/ .
Other useful links:
Elevation certificate quote assistance: http://www.elevationcert.com/
To find out if your home is in a flood zone. click the link for the FEMA map.