MIAMI (CBSMiami) – June 1st kicks off Hurricane season, and this year hundreds of thousands of homeowners on South Florida will see their flood insurance rate spike.
FEMA rolled out its Risk Rating 2.0 system on April 1st, which for the first time in 50 years, changes how the agency assesses a property’s flood risk. FEMA’s new formula factors in the amount of rainfall, cost of rebuild, sea level rise, and flood risk.
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According to FEMA, in the past homeowners with lower property values were shouldering a higher financial burden than homeowners with more expensive properties. The new risk assessment plan is intended to level the playing field for homeowners. Insurance experts say some homeowners will be hit with sticker shock, especially if you’re purchasing a new home.
“They tend to be surprised on the day of the closing, ‘oh by the way the bank says I need to buy flood insurance. That used to be $300 – $400 now that could cost you $2000 – $3000, and that could be a deal breaker as far as whether you’re qualifying for a property,” said Luis Gazitua, Partner of JAG Insurance Group.
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“It could affect our real estate market here in South Florida, I do know that there are some lenders who started to look at only offering up to 20 year loans on coastal properties,” added Gazitua.
Analyst project that more than 3.8 million policies across the country will be impacted by FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0 system, though only %4 of all policy holders will see the highest increases.
“For example West Palm Beach had their maps changed, now all of a sudden, a lot of homes are in a flood zone,” said Gazitua. “Then lenders are starting to require, you’ll get the letter in the mail, now you have to buy flood insurance,” added Gazitua.
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Mortgage lenders will require insurance for homes that fall within the following zones: AO, AE, AH and VE. As hurricane season 2022 begins, Gazitua suggests all homeowners make sure they’re covered.
“We’re pretty adamant about telling everyone if you live in Florida, you live in a flood zone,” said Gazitua.