Southwest Florida Insurance Agency Warns Homeowners Of Flood Insurance Rate Increases

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Gulf Coast Educators Insurance Urges Homeowners To Prepare For Possible Insurance Rate Hikes

Picture of flooded houses

Flood Insurance Changes Could Affect Florida Homeowners Insurance Policies

Mother nature really took its toll on homeowners over the years so much that now some homeowners are going to be hit very hard.

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Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, a Horace Mann Company, announces flood insurance rate hikes coming as soon as October 1, 2013. Under a new federal law homeowners will no longer be able to rely on the federally subsidized flood insurance rate many have come to enjoy over previous years.

The federal government is phasing out subsidies that have kept flood insurance premiums artificially low for older homes that were built prior to the government issuing flood risk zones in the 1970’s. These increases can come as early as October 1, 2013 while others may not see the rate hike until January 1, 2014.

This phase out, which became a federal law last year, is an attempt to help bail out the National Flood Insurance Program that has been in the red for a long time thanks to the massive hurricanes over the years. Ben Finley with the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency the National Flood Insurance Program was $24 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury as of June 2013 due to flood-loss payouts to victims largely from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

“For the taxpayer this is going to be a tough pill to swallow. This debt is equivalent to roughly $180.00 per household. Artificially low insurance premiums have really hurt the National Flood Insurance Program, they were in essence working with a false number in the bank. Mother nature really took its toll on homeowners over the years so much that now some homeowners are going to be hit very hard” says Ron DeFreitas, owner/agent of Gulf Coast Educators Insurance, a Horace Mann Company.

DeFreitas explains “Ben Finley with the Philadelphia Inquirer also reports that nationally only about 20% of homeowners who are required to have flood insurance pay this subsidized rate. The real problem for property owners will be those who are looking to sell their home. They will have to disclose these additional flood insurance fees up front therefore potential buyers may be turned away. Different properties will be affected at different times of the year, for example in January 2013 artificially low insurance premiums were terminated for non-primary residences. In October it’s estimated that homes and businesses that have experienced repeated flooding will also be phased out of these artificially low premiums. Several variables including a property’s elevation will be assessed before a home or business is considered exempt from this federal law.”

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance recommends home and property owners call one of their three insurance offices in Southwest Florida to learn more about how this new insurance law could affect them. For some homeowners in high risk flood zones they will lose their subsidies if their home is sold after October 1, 2013.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance caters to educators in the state of Florida. Non-educators are also invited to call the insurance agents at Gulf Coast Educators Insurance for a competitive insurance rate quote.

DeFreitas explains “A good majority of our clientele are educators in Florida however non-educators also make up a small percentage of our business. We write a lot of home owner and property insurance policies and we also offer auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, RV insurance and even golf cart insurance. Our life insurance policy is also very good. I encourage anybody looking for a competitive insurance quote to call our offices. There are many insurance discounts available for property insurance and auto insurance. If a home is built with proper wind protection features or if you have a clean driving record there are opportunities for certain insurance discounts as it relates to home or property insurance and auto insurance.”

Gulf Coast Educators insurance has three offices in Southwest Florida, in Naples, Port Charlotte and their newest one in Fort Myers. For more information on insurance products and how this new law will affect your home insurance or property insurance policy in Florida consumers are encouraged to call Gulf Coast Educators Insurance at any of their three Florida insurance offices: Naples 239-591-0963, Port Charlotte 941-391-5423 or Fort Myers 239-997-0420 or visit online at: http://www.propertyandhomeinsuranceflorida.com/

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