flood insurance

screenshots of C-SPAN videos

This week in Congress, the most significant rewriting of the U.S. tax code could take a big step toward becoming law. The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a big package of tax changes as soon as Thursday. The decision would come less than two weeks after the initial legislation was introduced by House Republican leaders and only a week after the House Ways and Means Committee debated the bill, eventually passing it through on a party-line vote.

 

ATTOM Data Solutions

Houses in areas prone to natural disasters across the country are increasing in value.

While that might not make sense, that was the finding of a yearly nationwide study by ATTOM Data Solutions, a company dedicated to crunching housing numbers.

After Hurricane Irma, there have been lots of conversations about how best to rebuild given the area's elevation and tendency to flood, even on sunny days.

Most Florida Flood Zone Property Not Insured

Sep 8, 2017

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis shows a steep drop in flood insurance across the state, including the areas most endangered by what could be a devastating storm surge.

In just five years, the state's total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Florida's property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state — 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets — but most residents in hazard zones are badly exposed.

Now that the rain has stopped and floodwaters are slowly starting to recede, government officials are figuring out where tens of thousands of evacuees in Texas and Louisiana can stay.

The White House estimates about 100,000 houses were affected by the storm. Many were destroyed or are too damaged to live in. More than 30,000 people are staying in emergency shelters and will soon be in need of permanent accommodations.

Tom Hudson

Driving around Molly Curry’s condominium complex in Ft. Lauderdale, it’s obvious she is proud of her neighborhood. She lives in the Bay Colony Club Condominiums, in a condo she owns since 2000, when she moved in with her two school-aged daughters. They are adults now and no longer live with Molly, but she’s stuck around and hopes to start a new career from her home.

 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

For decades, height limits have been a third rail in development discussions in the Florida Keys — nobody wanted to go near them. But more frequent flooding, the prospect of sea level rise and higher insurance rates are all leading to one conclusion in the low-lying island chain — build up.

Key West voters agreed to raise height limits on the island by up to 4 feet back in 2014. Now Monroe County is considering a similar measure. That would apply in unincorporated parts of the county, like Key Largo and the Lower Keys.

State Approves Citizens Rate Hikes For 2017

Sep 19, 2016

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation on Friday approved most of the changes requested by Citizens Property Insurance.

The Weather Channel via Florida Dept. of Finance Services

Florida and it's big insurance companies are ready for a hurricane.

That's the message from four people at the center of the financial preparedness of the state and the insurance industry serving Florida homeowners. In an exclusive interview, each of them expressed confidence that the state, the state-backed insurance provider Citizens Property Insurance, and private insurers have the financial wherewithal to withstand a major storm like Hurricane Andrew or a series of storms like the 2004-2005 seasons hitting the state.

  The Players

Citizens Insurance CEO: Rate Hike Due To Spike In Water Claims

Aug 25, 2015
maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

A "disturbing" rise in water-damage claims in South Florida is driving Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to seek an average 3.2 percent increase in rates for many homeowners, the president of the state-backed insurer said Tuesday.

  Without the surge in reported residential water damage over the past two years, which is causing the agency to alter its approach to such claims,Citizens would be asking for an average statewide rate decrease, Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said during a rate hearing before the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Winning In Keys: School Tax, Building Height Raise

Nov 4, 2014
Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Voters in the Florida Keys Tuesday approved extending a half-cent sales tax for schools for another 10 years. The tax, expected to raise $157 million over the decade, will be used to build and refurbish schools and for technology upgrades.

Voter turnout was 56 percent, according to the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Christine DiMattei

In the program room of the Boynton Beach City Library, 80-year-old Harvey Levine is handed a numbered ticket and a form to fill out. He then sits down and waits for his number to be called.

The room is divided into stations marked "Property Look-up," "Insurance Information,"  "Appeals and Comments,"  and "Community Assistance." This is one of several public open houses hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Levine is here to learn the status of his Lake Worth condo.

DVIDSHUB/flickr

More than a third of the policies in the National Flood Insurance Program are held by Floridians. But Florida accounts for just a small percentage of the claims that are paid.

Now the national program is billions of dollars in debt because it hasn’t been charging premiums that match the risk.