Some on St. Pete Beach shocked by new flood insurance rates

Here is an excerpt from the Tampa Bay Times :

As a Realtor and city commissioner of St. Pete Beach, Melinda Pletcher thought she was prepared for how the long-awaited changes to federal flood insurance would affect her community.

But even she, more knowledgeable than the average homeowner, was taken aback when she learned her own $600 annual premium will rise more and more every year until it hits $8,000, according to a quote from an insurance agent. Her home is a foot above the base flood elevation, or the level the government sets for potential high water in a flood.

“My first reaction was, ‘They don’t know what they’re doing,’” Pletcher said. In addition to the sharp increase, she said her neighbor, who built their house six feet above the base flood elevation, is expected to pay even more. “It really just does not pass the common sense test.”

The new rules particularly stung for Pletcher, because the city of St. Pete Beach has incentivized homeowners to build in ways that, under the change, are no longer guaranteed to keep their flood insurance costs low, she said.

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