Florida Flood Insurance Update March 13 2014

Dated: 03/13/2014

Views: 16905

BREAKING NEWS From the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors®

The United States Senate has just passed "The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act" by a vote of 72-22 (both US Senator Nelson and Senator Rubio voted in favor of the bill. This is the bill the US House passed on March 4. This is incredible news for Florida REALTORS® and property owners. The bill will now be sent directly to President Obama for his signature!

* Reinstates Grandfathering - This bill permanently repeals Section 207 of the Biggert-Waters Act, meaning that grandfathering is reinstated. All post-FIRM properties built to code at the time of construction will have protection from rate spikes due to new mapping - for example, if you built to +2 Base Flood Elevation, you stay at +2, regardless of new maps. Also importantly, the grandfathering stays with the property, not the policy. 
* Caps Annual Rate Increases at 18% - This bill decreases FEMA's authority to raise premiums. The bill prevents FEMA from increasing premiums within a single property class beyond a 15 percent average a year, with an individual cap of eighteen percent a year. Pre Biggert-Waters, the class average cap was 10%. Currently (Post Biggert-Waters), the class average cap is 20%. The bill also requires a 5% minimum annual increase on pre-FIRM primary residence policies that are not at full risk. The updated legislation also states that FEMA shall strive to minimize the number of policies with premium increases that exceed one percent of the total coverage of the policy (e.g., 1% of $250,000 = $2,500). 
* Refunds policyholders who purchased pre-FIRM homes after Biggert-Waters (7/6/12) and were subsequently charged higher rates 
* Permanently Removes the Sales Trigger - This bill removes the policy sales trigger, which allows a purchaser to take advantage of a phase in. The new purchaser is treated the same as the current property owner. 
* Allows for Annual Surcharges - This legislation applies an annual surcharge of $25 for primary residences and $250 for second homes and businesses, until subsidized policies reach full risk rates. All revenue from these assessments would be placed in the NFIP reserve fund, which was established to ensure funds are available for meeting the expected future obligations of the NFIP. 
* Funds the Affordability Study and Mandates Completion - This legislation funds the affordability study required by Biggert-Waters and mandates its completion in two years. 
* Includes the Home Improvement Threshold - This bill returns the "substantial improvement threshold" (i.e. renovations and remodeling) to the historic 50% of a structure's fair market value level. Under Biggert-Waters, premium increases are triggered when the renovation investments meet 30% of the home's value. 
* Additional provisions: This legislation includes several other provisions including preserving the basement exception, allowing for payments to be made in monthly installments, and reimbursing policy holders for successful map appeals.
 Guest Post Contributed by: eConnections - a member benefit from the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®.
Blog author image

Michael Valdes

Realtor Michael Valdes was born in Tampa Florida and has lived and worked in the Tampa Bay area his entire life. He first got into the real estate industry working for large corporations such as JPMor....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

This Month At Keller Williams July 2018

Temperatures are rising but electricity bills don't have to. Here are tips to help Florida homeowners save energy and money this.

Read More

Where To Live In The South Tampa Area

If you are thinking about buying in South Tampa, the main consideration is what type of home and area you would like to have and live in:South Tampa Area:  The South Tampa area is one of the

Read More

You Do Not Have To Spend A Million Dollars To Have An Ocean View In Tampa Bay Area

Tampa Bay is one of the only areas left in the U.S. where you don't need $1M to get oceanfront property. There are many areas sought after were you can get a condo on the gulf under a million. The

Read More

Luxury Equestrian Home For Sale In Tampa Bay FL

Luxury Equestrian Home For Sale in Tampa Bay FloridaCheck out this spectacular 2011 custom built 11,264 sq. ft. 4.71-acre gated luxury estate with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 5,500 heated sq. ft. and

Read More