Private Market Opens for people Adversely Effected by Biggert Waters Act

Blackwell Insurance COO Tina Blackwell was recently asked by the Panama City News Herald about the issue of flood insurance for Florida homeowners. Here is an excerpt from the published article.

South Florida homes aren’t the only ones seeing rate spikes. One local home’s flood insurance premium jumped from $3,300 to $26,000, said Tina Blackwell, chief operational officer at Blackwell Insurance in Panama City .

Blackwell said the soaring rate was an “extreme case” and the home was purchased after July 2012.

She said homes seeing the eye-popping rate increases were bought after July 2012, when Biggert-Waters was passed, and are in certain classification of flood zones.

“The increase happened at the renewal this year,” she said, after Biggert-Waters took effect Oct. 1.

The homeowner was not happy, but Blackwell said she searched the private insurance market and will secure a policy for less than than $13,000.

For years, the federally subsidized flood insurance market undercut private insurers, essentially pushing them out, but Blackwell said the skyrocketing premiums are generating more private options.

Blackwell said locals can avoid a flood insurance nightmare by knowing a home’s base flood elevation before buying or raising the foundation before building.

“That’s the best way people are going to be able to protect their assets,” she said.