Gov. Scott: Obama ignoring flood insurance reforms desperately needed by Floridians

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Florida Keys flooding
Florida Keys flooding courtesy Weather.com

Gov. Rick Scott called on President Obama to do something about the unaffordable flood insurance rate hikes affecting many Floridians.

In 2012, Obama signed into law the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, gradually eliminating certain subsidies and discounts and requiring some policyholders to pay full risk rates, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency website. The resulting changes going into effect later this year will cause hardship for some homeowners.

Scott sent Obama a letter Thursday asking for a delay in the law, saying:

January 9, 2014

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Your decision to sign the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 has had devastating consequences for Florida’s families.

Over the past 35 years, Floridians have paid over $16 billion into the National Flood Insurance Program—roughly four times more than they have received in payments.  Yet, as a result of Biggert-Waters, today many Floridians are facing the horror of losing their homes due to soaring flood insurance costs.

One Pinellas County family saw their annual insurance premium skyrocket from $4,300 to nearly $44,000.  A couple in Holmes Beach saw their insurance bill climb 614 percent—from $914 a year to $6,500 a year.  In Fort Myers Beach, the owners of a small inn and gift shop will see their premiums jump from $2,722 to $46,907—a 1,700 percent increase.  The law you signed has brought unthinkable hardship on Floridians.

Uncertainty hangs over thousands of homes.  By many accounts, sales have stalled in low-lying areas, sellers are dropping prices, and real-estate closings are becoming more complex.  You delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but you have failed to delay a law that saddles Floridians with unfair and unaffordable rate hikes.

Act now and undo the effects of this mistaken law before it cripples Florida’s real-estate market, harms even more Floridians, and reverses our state’s burgeoning economic recovery.

Sincerely,

Rick Scott

Governor

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