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New to flood insurance? Some say it's becoming 'almost completely unaffordable'

'I dropped the flood insurance, because I never felt like we needed it,' Ken Taylor
Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 10, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Thousands are now officially in a flood zone according to new FEMA maps. Those affected will have a deadline of Dec. 20 to find flood insurance coverage.

"Our flood insurance ran out, the mortgage company assigned us another one, so we're currently shopping for a more affordable option for flood insurance," said Lauren Jones from Delray Beach.

She said her family has lived in the house for 12 years and, because of her mortgage, is required to have flood insurance.

"We love living over here but it is getting to the point and not just for flood, for insurance all around that it really is becoming almost completely unaffordable," said Jones. "If it does continue on this trend, unfortunately we might have to one day be looking into moving, and my dad has even talked about it too."

She knew moving in that it was designated a flood zone classified as special flood hazard zone and feels for those now impacted.

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Lauren Jones from Delray Beach says she and her family have lived in their house for 12 years and are required to have flood insurance due to the mortgage they have.

"Flooding itself wasn't going to be something that forced us out, but at this point, it's the insurance rates that might end up forcing us out," said Jones.

According to Lendingtree.com, the average price of National Flood Insurance Program's flood insurance, coverage ranges from $541 a year in low-risk flood zones to $2,472 a year in high-risk areas in Florida.

Although her house has never flooded, Jones said the expense is worth the safety of her family and plans to keep the coverage even once it isn't required by her mortgage.

"We have had to find more affordable options, we've cut our cable, cutting down on streaming services, anything to save money," said Jones.

The FEMA map highlights different flood zones in Palm Beach County, but it doesn't specify which are the new areas added to the map.

"About 4 to 5 years ago when South Texas had all the flooding, six months after that, they declared my neighborhood a flood zone," said Ken Taylor in West Palm Beach. "We've never had a flood, I've lived here for 35 years."

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Ken Taylor in West Palm Beach says they dropped their flood insurance, after their mortgage was paid off, because they never needed it.

His house is also on the FEMA map classified as special flood hazard zone.

"Because I was still paying a mortgage, I was required to purchase flood insurance, which was several thousand dollars each year," said Taylor.

He said he and his wife are both teachers and had to budget through the flood insurance and insurance premiums. Now that his mortgage is paid off, he's opted not to get flood insurance and invest the money to put his daughters through school.

"I dropped the flood insurance, because I never felt like we needed it," said Taylor. "We survived paying for college and now we can sack a little away."

Keep in mind if you have a federal mortgage and you are in the high-risk flood zone, you will be required to have flood insurance.