Flood insurance rates set to soar for some homeowners

Flood insurance rates set to soar for some homeowners

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

Some Bay area homeowners may be in for sticker shock when they get their federal flood insurance bills.

This year congress decided to reform the program under the Biggert-Waters act.

As a result, Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam Dubov says some homeowner rates may be going up from $2,000 a year to $15,000 a year.

Dubov says, "It's going to affect everybody who lives in flood zones in one way or another."

Hundreds jammed into the Indian Rocks Beach auditorium to hear what the new law means to them. Jim Labadie owns an Inn and a home near the coast. "This government can subsidize countries all over the world. Can subsidize corporations all over the United States. And yet it can't subsidize and wants to stop the subsidies to the residents because they say, well if you live on the beach you can afford it" he said. But the truth is, people far from the coast are also being hit with huge rate increases.

Some are opting to go without flood insurance.  Pam Dubov said that can be a risky choice, " I have heard numerous people say at public meetings that they were close enough to paying off their mortgage they were going to pay off the mortgage and get rid of the flood insurance, but it's an important decision to make, because if you are currently are insured and you let your insurance lapse, you can't change your mind and go back to the grandfathered or subsidized rates."

Dubov says there are some things you can do to keep your rates down, "You can choose what you want the deductible to be. You can reduce the amount of coverage on your contents, your contents rather than the structure."

She says to find out how your rates will be impacted, you should contact your insurance provider.

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