After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the U.S. Congress required that flood insurance policy premiums start to reflect more accurate rates covering risk-prone areas, such as the eastern portion of South Florida. ( The Biggert- Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.)
In 2013, insurance premiums skyrocketed and policyholders fought back. Congress in 2014 reversed those full increases, limiting premium and surcharge increases to 18% in 2015. (The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA).)
Within that act, Congress added a surcharge to all homeowners and business across the country to spread the risk, resulting in a “Federal Policy Fee” of $22.00 annually plus a Reserve Fund Assessment of 10% or 15% of the premiums.
This year a premium surcharge of $250.00 will be added to all businesses, secondary homes, and investment property. FEMA sent letters to all insurance companies requiring them to notify all policyholders at least 90 days prior to policy renewal. The $250.00 can be reduced to $25.00 for all primary residence homeowners. All that is required is providing proof to the insurance company that you live in the address on the policy.
If your 2015 policy included the $250.00 surcharge,
contact your insurance agent or company and provide
the necessary documentation to get a refund of $225.00.
Originally, the requirement included providing a copy of the driver’s license, auto registration, homstead exemption certificate, or voter registration card. However, this caused a problem for homeowner’s just moving, as those documents could not be provided prior to closing. Therefore, the insurance companies will now accept a signed affidavit which attests to the residency requirement.
Download a PDF on How April 2015 Program Changes Will Affect Flood Insurance Premiums.
For more information about the South Florida real estate market,
call me at 954-632-5100 or email me.