Apr 26 2015

Ways To Prevent Falling Victim To Flood Insurance Additional Charge

For the thousands of Floridians with flood insurance, I have some bad news. Your premium is about to rise. Just how much it will increase will certainly depend on whether you’re insuring your primary home. And ensuring you have that right will certainly make a big difference in exactly what you pay.Starting April 1, the National Flood Insurance Program, a part of the Federal Emergency situation Management Agency, added an additional charge of $25 to the cost of flood insurance for primary residences. On flood insured apartments that aren’t, such as a getaway home or an investment property, the charge is $250.

Ed Nass stated he and numerous of his neighbors recently received letters from FEMA inquiring to show their Cape Coral homes were their primary residences. Nass said they clambered to rapidly respond, but in his case it was no use. Within two days of getting the letter from FEMA he received a statement from his home loan company showing the $250 surcharge had actually been paid.

“I called my insurance coverage agent and he said, ‘Let me examine.’ But I’m not holding out hope I’ll get it back,” Nass said.When you get your renewal notice for your flood insurance coverage, check that the proper surcharge amount has been applied. If you’re uncertain, contact your agent.If you were charged the nonprimary home

rate, you can get a refund, said Scott Ehrenfeld, an insurance coverage agent with the Culbertson Company in Fort Myers and Naples.”It’s an easy fix,”Ehrenfeld stated. Your agent can publish proof of a homestead exemption on the Lee County Building Appraiser site and use that to reveal FEMA it’s a main home. They will certainly reimburse the$250, however homeowners like Nass will certainly still need to pay$25. Ehrenfeld said FEMA was a little late getting the notices out to house owners and the additional charge might be used prior to individuals can react. Or you might have missed the letter asking for the information. However a letter ought to show up from FEMA about 90 days prior to your renewal date asking you to provide proof the home is a primary residence. There are a number of things you can send out in, such as a copy of your homestead exemption, your voter’s registration card or a signed vowed statement.For most house owners, premiums on flood insurance coverage for a primary house are rising$30 to $ 40 plus the$25 surcharge.

“The people it’s going to affect the most are snowbirds and people with rental properties, “he stated. Rates for those house owners will certainly go up$300 or

more.FEMA press secretary Susan Hendrick said, “Modifications in flood insurance coverage rates belong to congressional legislation to reform the flood insurance program to ensure it is sustainable over the long term, while remaining delicate to the real needs of the policyholders.”In 2012 Congress had passed a flood insurance law significantly raising rates and making flood insurance coverage unaffordable for some homeowners. The Property owner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 went into result this month, reversing and modifying provisions in the earlier law. It limits individual premium enhances to 18 percent and implements the additional charge, amongstto name a few changes.Because some people who own rental building or second houses paid cash and might not have a home loan, getting a flood policy is voluntary. And the boost in rates may be the tipping point.But Ehrenfeld warns against opting out of the flood insurance

program or letting the insurance coverage lapse, particularly for individuals who have homes in Cape Coral or near McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. A 7- or 8-foot surge will certainly put many of these homes under water,

he said.”I think it’s a cost-benefit circumstance,”Ehrenfeld stated.”If the flood insurance was$3,000 a year you may not wantwish to get it. However if it’s $400 a year, you would be silly not to. “Contact: TellMel@news-press.com; -LRB-239-RRB-344-4772; 2442 Martin Luther King Jr.

Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33901. facebook.com/TellMel and Twitter @tellmel.