Scott writes Obama about flood insurance hikes

Governor hopes president listens pleas to stop insurance premium rate hikes


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently sent a letter to the president over flood insurance hikes that could hit Florida soon.

Scott is hoping President Obama listens to his plea to stop flood insurance premium rate hikes because if that doesn't happen, thousands of homeowners in flood plains could see their rates spike.

"This law was passed in 2012 and is being implemented October 1st, so I think some of the real estate transactions are being delayed and it's a painful medicine for some of the folks it is affecting," said Billy Wagner at Brightway Insurance in St. Johns County. "I think there are 36,000 flood policies in St. Johns County and this is affecting about 1,200 of those folks."

Channel 4 found a number of homeowners who said they didn't even know whether this will affect them, or if they even have flood insurance.

"Yes, I do. I believe so. No, I don't know, I am not sure," said Douglas Rowell. "I think it depends on your elevation site. East of the Intercoastal Waterway, you need it if you're in Jacksonville 15 feet above sea level. I don't think it's necessary."

Wagner said if you're unsure whether your premiums will go up, you need to call someone.

"I think they need to consult their agent and look at their options and make sure they do not let their insurance lapse, because there is a graduated period for this but if you let it lapse, it becomes instant," said Wagner, "and I think there are some strategies as agents we can do to navigate them and help them through."

A Florida Senate committee has floated an idea for Florida to withdraw from the federal program, or create a state-backed agency like the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

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