|By Ryan McCarthy, Florida Keys Keynoter, (Marathon, Fla.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
That's the day thousands of Keys property owners started losing federal subsidies for their flood insurance policies -- meaning skyrocketing rates are coming and, as a result, could shock what had been an improving real estate market.
There are 11,896 properties in
The reason: The 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act that took effect Tuesday. The law eliminates subsidized rates from the
Owners of second homes and "pre-FIRM" houses will bear the largest burden to begin with. Pre-FIRM refers to houses built before
The effects of the law could be disastrous to a slowly but surely recovering Keys real estate market.
"Clearly, if these new premiums go into effect it will have chilling effect on the real estate market, and it already has to a certain degree," said
"We build to stronger building codes because we've experienced floods for a long time, whereas other areas like the ones in
"They're huge. I quoted one up in
"They've pretty much devalued ground-level homes. Selling those, you'd have to [pay cash] to not pay those kind of premiums," she said. "I don't want to panic everyone, but this is going to be very impactful to the Keys."
Montagne also sits on the FIRM board and said the group has formed a separate committee to combat flood insurance increases.
FIRM concentrates most of its efforts fighting always-increasing windstorm insurance rates by state-run
FIRM was instrumental to Citizens capping premium increases for Keys homeowners to 10 percent per year. "We have to attack it on a Legislative front and see if we can get put on a glide path like we were at Citizens," Montagne said.
According to the Herald, the National Flood Insurance Program has been running a
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