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FEMA recently released preliminary revisions to the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) in Florida. With many homeowners, unit owners, and associations compelled to purchase Flood insurance annually, this created many questions as to how the revisions may affect policyholders’ premiums. This is a topic that Gulfshore Insurance has been monitoring closely.
The FIRM shows the “flood zone” of a particular area. A building’s flood zone, along with other factors, is a direct contributor to the Flood insurance premium associated with the policy. A lesser risk flood zone can mean significantly lesser premiums. But, for those buildings now preliminary rated in a higher risk zone, it could mean significantly higher Flood insurance premiums. This is especially true for coastal properties. To make matters more confusing, these FIRM maps are extremely detailed. Your property may be moved into a higher risk zone than it previously was, and your adjacent neighbor may remain unchanged.
There is some reassurance. At Gulfshore, your insurance agent is familiar with the nuances of Flood insurance, and they will be able to determine a strategy that puts your property in position for the best possible rates when these maps do finally go into effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps taking effect?
- The target date to take effect is late 2021 or early 2022.
- Local officials point out it could be much later based on hearings and proceedings.
- At the time of writing this article, local hearings have not yet been held.
Who are the new FIRM maps impacting?
- It is important to understand that each property must be researched independently because FIRM maps are very detailed. Your property may be impacted by the change, but your adjacent neighbor’s may not be.
Can I “Grandfather” my property so my flood zone doesn’t change?
- The preliminary map proposals have not done away with grandfathering and it remains a viable option if it is to your benefit. Your Gulfshore Insurance agent will be researching this.
For more preliminary FIRM revision details, visit your county website flood page:
Jeff Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in community and condominium associations. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.
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