Updated By: Joe Hellriegel
January 9, 2014, 11pm
"Flood insurance is a rip off in the state of Florida," said Sopchoppy resident Ira Sites.
Wakulla county residents say they are fed up with flood insurance premiums. And with rising costs, its becoming hard to afford.
"I have a house on the Sopchoppy River, a home that I had to put in there in 2004 and that was one of the years that we were having a lot of the tropical storms and they took too long getting the thing done and by the time they finalized it they dropped my flood insurance," said sites.
"I told them that wasn't acceptable, that I didn't have flood insurance all of the sudden. About 20 minutes later I get a call back and say I have insurance but it cost me and extra $1,000."
Governor Rick Scott is taking these issues to the President. President Obama signed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which Governor Scott states has devastating consequences for Florida families. In a letter Governor Scott sent to the President, it states, "One Pinellas County family saw their annual insurance premium skyrocket from $4,300 to nearly $44,000." It also states, "You delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but you have failed to delay a law that saddles Floridians with unfair and unaffordable rate hikes."
Small business owners say they are feeling the pressure of the high prices too.
"This is the year we re-finance to the bank and they say we have to have flood insurance, and it was too much. Way too much," said Raju Shah.
News Release: Governor Rick Scott's Office
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Governor Rick Scott called on President Obama to use his authority to undo the effects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act he signed into law. To view the letter, click HERE.
FULL LETTER BELOW AND ATTACHED
January 9, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Your decision to sign the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 has had devastating consequences for Florida’s families.
Over the past 35 years, Floridians have paid over $16 billion into the National Flood Insurance Program—roughly four times more than they have received in payments. Yet, as a result of Biggert-Waters, today many Floridians are facing the horror of losing their homes due to soaring flood insurance costs.
One Pinellas County family saw their annual insurance premium skyrocket from $4,300 to nearly $44,000. A couple in Holmes Beach saw their insurance bill climb 614 percent—from $914 a year to $6,500 a year. In Fort Myers Beach, the owners of a small inn and gift shop will see their premiums jump from $2,722 to $46,907—a 1,700 percent increase. The law you signed has brought unthinkable hardship on Floridians.
Uncertainty hangs over thousands of homes. By many accounts, sales have stalled in low-lying areas, sellers are dropping prices, and real-estate closings are becoming more complex. You delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but you have failed to delay a law that saddles Floridians with unfair and unaffordable rate hikes.
Act now and undo the effects of this mistaken law before it cripples Florida’s real-estate market, harms even more Floridians, and reverses our state’s burgeoning economic recovery.