Cost of flood insurance could be going up in Florida

The coast of Palm Beach County on Oct. 1, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:06 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 17:17:30-04

LANTANA, Fla. — The cost of protecting your home from flooding may be going up by a lot. Changes in the Federal Flood Insurance Program are coming with large premium hikes.

Shopping for home repairs in Lantana, WPTV told Ross Whitehouse about what could be happening with his flood insurance.

"I have to check my policy. I'll definitely check my policy now that you mentioned it," Whitehouse said.

What we told him was a potential hike in rates for the Federal Flood Insurance Program that now took effect Oct. 1 as FEMA puts new risk ratings in place for properties using more sophisticated prediction models

As many as 80% of policy holders in Florida, FEMA said, may see an increase of at least a couple hundred dollars a year.

"The potential cost can be big for new home buyers. For people that all of sudden want flood insurance and don’t have a policy in effect, now they will see a bigger shock," said Robert Norberg of Arden Insurance in Lantana.

Norberg said in those cases the cost can run in the thousands. Any homeowner, he said, now in a high-risk zone can be forced to get the insurance by their mortgage lender.

In Florida, there are over a million federal flood polices and most are concentrated in the southeast. The flooding risk, Norberg said, is not limited to those along the coast.

"People are saying, well, we haven't had a flood incident lately. Well, this morning with the rain you had these ponding flooding," Norberg said. "You have, like you said, storm drains that get clogged up and overflow. All those things start to impact on the flood level."