Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FLood Insurance,Government agency Mismanaged and FLA BEACH LIVING

G'day friends of Florida beach living!
I enjoyed reading Billy, a local friend's, letter regarding Goverment and the Buisness of insurance, Read below my picture and some of my property Listed for sale.
Diana Sames MLS Listing & Stick Referral Web SIte
Mirabella Ct Waterfront deal- Singel Family living with non of the Worries

  Elegant St Pete Beach home for sale Updated Watefront Sunset Beach condo with boat lift and LOW fees.
 adorable Madeira Beach bungalow with Large pool for sale Three Palms Point waterfront Pool home for sale
                         2 Adorable Gulfport homes FOR SALE on ONE deep lot with a Pool  
                                           Quiet Serene Old Florida Gulfport condo for sale                                     
   St Pete Beach Wide Open Waterfront Updated Home for sale

          "Thank you for all the hundreds of letters and messages you moved to Washington.  Looks like a bit of slack on the flood insurance premiums. However it's now time to let FEMA  be a regulatory  body and tell us how high to build but get out of the business of selling insurance. For example, if you buy $200,000 Fire insurance from State Farm and the house burns they give you $200,000. If the house costs $300,000 to build back they don't give you a extra $100,000.  When you buy your flood insurance from FEMA they say how much do you want and charge you a premium accordingly. Fine, but when the flood hits the President waves his hand, declares a national  disaster, and gives you from FEMA twice what you purchased and all your neighbors the same even though they did not have flood insurance. Next day the FEMA agency has spent way more than they took in. Any private insurance company would be bankrupt but more than likely not as they would not be giving benefits to those who did not purchase them in the pool. So now what does FEMA want to do? They want to raise the premiums on all the good people that responsibly bought flood insurance to pay for all those who did not. I say let private enterprise run the insurance companies and get government out of our business.  In closing, the government will kick this premium thing down the road, make no decision and devastate our real estate resale market due to the great unknown. Push now for alternative private flood insurance product acceptable to mortgage lenders so we may ignore these mismanaged government insurance programs.  Sincerely, Billy Moore"        

Florida a great place to live. Diana Sames Listing Website & REVIEW website

Monday, October 28, 2013

Delaying............ Flood insurance hikes ------------with a Bipartisan Deal Reached?

Gday Friends, Fall is in the air...also some good news for some is in th air:

Todays New THe Insurance Journal link above gave some news this morning. The “Bipartisan Deal” referenced in the Insurance Journal this morning is in the works, but still must pass and then be signed by the President.   
This afternoon the Pinellas Realtor Association  published the notice below to clarify the current status of this legislation. NOTE the letter clariying below.
Title: Important Flood Insurance Update

Good afternoon,

There has been a great deal of movement in Congress.  Working with Karl Eckhart at NAR and John Sebree at Florida Realtors®, here is what we know.

Legislation in Congress is finally close to introduction.  We expect a bipartisan bill to be introduced in the US Senate tomorrow.  Among other important provisions, this bill would delay the implementation of rate increases for the following properties until 2 years after FEMA completes the affordability study mandated in Biggert-Waters and the Administrator of FEMA certifies that the agency has adopted sound engineering practices to accurately determine flood risk:

1.    1.All grandfathered homes and businesses that were built to code and later remapped into a higher risk area;
2.    2.All properties sold after July 6, 2012; and
3.    3.All properties that purchased a new policy after July 6, 2012. 

The legislation also requires FEMA to propose regulations that address the identified affordability issues within 18 months after the completion of the study and establishes a 6-month moratorium thereafter to provide for Congressional review.  Affordability measures addressed under this section may include targeted assistance to individual policyholders and factor in the impacts of rate increases on overall program participation.  FEMA has estimated it will take an additional 2 years to complete the affordability study before regulations can be issued and reviewed by Congress meaning rate increases would be delayed for approximately 4 years.  

Also, Representative Maxine Waters has announced that the U.S. House will introduce a similar bi-partisan bill this week.  You can read more about Representative Waters intentions here.

As indicated last week, we have sent a new round of letters to every member of the Congressional delegation urging their action.  Just today we have followed-up with Senators Nelson and Rubio specifically urging them to sign on to this new bill.  Obviously, this legislation still has a long road ahead but it is progress. 
There has been an article from an insurance journal circulating this morning that states a “Bipartisan Deal has been Reached to Delay Flood Insurance Premium Hikes.”  While there has been significant progress, as indicated above, the legislation has not yet been introduced.  It could be a month or more before Congress takes final action on this legislation.  Again, this is positive movement but please know this legislation just has a long way to go before it reaches the president for his signature.
David B. Bennett, CAE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Pinellas REALTOR® Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road | Clearwater, FL 33762

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dear Clients, Customers, Neighbors, Friends…

Joan certainly writes great letters so as the saying goings "why try to re-invent the wheel".( i did add some underline and color and link to my insurance page) Hope you enjoy and 
this conversation and if you find it helpful lets us know?
Real estate  professionals often offer our customers resources to compare coverage options and arrange insurance for the property they are interested in buying.    We are not qualified to advise on insurance issues, specifically rates and coverage,  but the concerned and engaged professionals always strive to share information coming across our desk  which may help someone we know professionally or personally.

The letter below came to me from an insurance professional, Tracey Barry.  Tracey does not handle my property insurance,  she is a lady whom a former mortgage partner and I respected and trusted because of her honest and extremely diligent efforts to serve her clients.   This letter is not promotional.    Although she would not be unhappy with new business, at the moment Tracey has all she can handle caring for the concerns of  her current clients.  She asks anyone I forward this to,  please contact your own agent.  At my request, she  has allowed me to pass on her thoughtful email to my own clients and friends in the event this will help some of you.

Please take this email in that spirit, I am not qualified to give insurance information, much less adviceGenerally, real estate professionals donot refer business specifically to one agent or another, only provide contact information for qualified professionals.  This mail is meant to be educational only, raise awareness in worse case, give folks questions to ask your own agent.   We all hope for  better resolution and vision regarding the flood insurance issues so many of us face…..

in any event it is a good thing to be prepared. 

As professionals in our respective industries, those  who reach out to fellow professionals and clients and friends, we hope to make a difference for someone, and perhaps, as numbers grow,  for our  communities. 

We will be able to realize better solutions, but only when we communicate and share knowledge and experience and support.

All the best

Joan H. Walker

Certified International Property Specialist
Chair, Cultural Awareness Committee, Pinellas International Council Director
Associate Broker, GRI, CREA, AHWD, TRC

Frank T. Hurley Associates, Inc., Realtors

Hi Joan,

There is so much going on with insurance right now.

I have wanted to get the word out to my clients of certain changes but have not had a moment to slow down and get it in writing.
Making this all easy to understand is the hardest thing for me, but I will do my best.
I know not everyone is affected by these changes but I am sending this out to everyone as this information may help someone you know.

First thank you all for your business and your patience these days as many calls are coming thru about changes with the NFIP flood insurance and Citizens take-outs. I am doing my best to give everyone their individual time and return all calls in a timely manner.

As we all know the Biggert Waters Reform Act of 2012 has been put into place by congress. We were all hoping that this would be delayed, as it will make a huge impact on flood premiums and the housing market in Florida.

I have not heard of any changes so my advice is to be prepared.
Not everyone will have increases on their flood policies. The hardest hit homes are the pre-firm homes, which were given subsidized rates.
Please review your flood policy, as you will see if you are rated pre-firm or post firm.
If pre-firm, you will now be required to turn in an elevation. If you choose not to turn this in then you will be subject to 20-25% increases.
In addition, hardest hit are those pre-firm homes bought after July 2012. These policies will be non-renewed.
We must get an elevation or we may take tentative rates for one year before we turn them in.
I am currently working with a customer service representative at the NFIP that is finding out if I have a choice once I turn in the elevation to reject their offer of premium and choose the rate increase of 20 – 25%.
I am hoping to get that answer this week.

Non-primary homes will be subject to other increases.

If a buyer assumes a flood policy from the seller they must get an elevation done for their renewal and be rerated.

Then there is the Depopulation or also called Take Outs of the Citizens policies.
A take out is when the state encourages private carriers to come in and take over the Citizens policies at renewal.
These are financially stable carriers with A ratings, I am appointed to these carriers for your policies.

This is actually a good thing as you have more choices for coverage’s and you are now with an A rated carrier.
As for knowing what premium you will be offered at renewal, we do not know. I have been thru two smaller take-outs and most of my clients did ok.
I have had a few clients I had to write back with Citizens due to the rate increase from the take out carrier.
This is your choice to stay with Citizens or move to the A rated carrier. If you want to stay you MUST send in the OPT out form that you received in the mail.

This is one of the busiest depopulation campaigns in Citizens history. More offers will be going out to policyholders in November and December.

If you choose to stay with Citizens, you will be given another choice after January 2014.

Citizens will be rolling out a Clearinghouse campaign.

In the past we could only write a policy with Citizens if we had no other A rated carrier available OR if we had an A rated carrier that offers 15% and higher for premium, then we can write with Citizens. This is a rule of Citizens.

The Clearinghouse will bring offers from private carriers that are financially stable and A rated. These offers cannot be 15% or higher.
I will be appointed to these carriers for your individual policies.
If you are offered a premium that is 1-14% higher than your Citizens policy-you must take the offer.
I will write the new policy with the A rated carrier and will continue to be your agent.
Citizens will cancel your current policy if you do not take the offer. It is very important to understand this, as we cannot ignore these offers.

The state is pushing these private carriers to open up for us. If you are afraid to go with the Take out offer then I would wait and see what offers are available thru the Clearinghouse at renewal.

I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell everyone what their premiums may be but I am going thru these changes as you are.
I cannot make these decisions for my clients, the best I can do is inform you of what is to come and why it is happening.

I know there is allot of information in this email but by doing this, I am hoping to reach out to my clients so we all understand the changes to come.

Please have patience if you call in or email, as always I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thank you for your business!

Tracey Barry - First Choice Insurance of FL. Inc.

111 2ND AVE N.E. STE 900  |   St. Petersburg, FL  |   33701


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Key Word  with Flood INSURANCE is still elevation. Sellers will need to supply an elevation certificate. Click this link for an example of an  ELEVATION  Certificate. The base flood is 11' and the bottom base floor is 6.89. That means the property is 4'11" (-4.11) below base flood level. The price of flood insurance will be based on how much below the base flood level the home is.

Take my listing at 440 64th Avenue, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706. (Click the link below the picture to see this listing). We just order and elevation certificate for the buyers interest and it came in very favorably for insurance purposes at only 2'8" below the base flood level (-2.8). The cost of flood insurance will be considerably less than the example above and the average beach property. Water has barely come over the seawall in the past.

What can Rick Scott do in Retrospect of October 1 2013? Anything? what do you think? Hopeful ?  Politics is a simple Petition for Rick Scott to take to President Obama.
It seems clear that the Government -- FEMA has run out of money. Overspending. Well somethings do not change right? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

     THE KEY WORD for BUYERS Buying Beachfront Condos or homes  in FLOOD ZONES is ELEVATION--what is the Property's Elevation? This is Evidenced by a Surveyors Elevation certificate which is given to Insurance companies who will use it to estimate Flood insurance costs.  I ordered 3 of these last week on a few of my listings that did not have one.  The Condominiums will all be different. Here in Porto Fino  the base living area is already at 11' with a fantastic carport  to enjoy outdoor waterfront area. Each Condo will be on an Individual basis, like homes The insurance agency and Associations will each have Master Policies.  The closer to what FEMA defines as an appropriate level to reside on (currently 11') the less impact The Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform will have on the specific property. The Complex, Porto Fino, which has only 9 owners and includes 9 boat slips, at 143 94th av, Sunset Beach, Treasure Island, 33706 is a good stable complex in the light of the FLOOD REFORM. Unit 6 is listed for $319,000 may or may not be impacted in the future but certainly will not be impacted like those complex with ground floor living areas.
Click on this photos for details

Elevated Waterfront condo for sale on Sunset Beach

             Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

Talking Points:

For decades, the National Flood Insurance Program, a program managed by FEMA, has provided a way for property owners to protect themselves financially from flood risk.

When the program was created, it allowed for subsidized rates for certain policyholders whose structures were built before FEMA mapped the Special Flood Hazard Area.  These policies made flood insurance available at subsidized rates that did not reflect the true cost of flooding risks.

Additionally, the risk of flooding has grown over time as more Americans move into areas near the coast, or in areas that have become increasingly developed.

Today the program is no longer sustainable as it currently exists, so big changes are coming to FEMA' s National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.

In 2012, Congress created a law called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The law was designed to make NFIP stronger financially by removing the artificially low rates that were no longer sustainable.

As a result, some property owners will soon be required to pay for the true cost of the flood risk on their home and/or property and they will see flood insurance rates increase.

Changes Ahead:

Over the coming months and years, flood insurance policies will continue to adjust to reflect the full cost of flood risk.

Some property owners are already feeling the changes, those with secondary or vacation homes recently learned that they would lose their federal subsidy, and in January, began to see higher rates as their policies are being renewed.

But not every homeowner will see an increase in rates; only about 20 percent of policy holders have a federally-subsidized flood insurance rate.

By law, going forward in October, these federal subsidies will now begin to disappear, and property owners will be required to pay the flood insurance rate that more accurately reflects their true flood risk.

Even those with subsidized rates may not need to pay the full risk rate, or the true cost of their flood risk, just yet.  Those with subsidized rates can continue to pay them unless they sell their home, let their policy lapse, or purchase a new flood insurance policy after July 6, 2012.

The best way to reduce flood rates is for communities to come together to consider flood protections that make sense and that will reduce everyone's risk. Some risk reductions community-wide may include keeping some spaces undeveloped,  increasing mitigation of individual homes, or other options to reduce damage from flood.

 Questions and Answers:

 How are flood insurance rates changing under Section 205 of the law?

FEMA is making changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that will require insurance rate premiums to reflect a property's real flood risk.
Homeowners of secondary residences with subsidized rates, such as vacation homes, were notified begim1ing in January 2013 that those rates are no longer available.
Most other subsidized flood insurance rates, about 20 percent of all flood insurance policy holders, will be eliminated over the coming months and years, beginning in late 2013.

Who will be affected?
Only about 20 percent of NFIP policies receive subsidies, so the new law will not immediately affect everyone.
Subsidized rates for non-primary/secondary  residences are being phased out now. Subsidized rates for other classes of properties will be eliminated over time, begim1ing in October 2013. These include:

Owners of non-primary/secondary residences in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) will see 25 percent increase annually until rates reflect true risk - began January 1, 2013.
Owners of property which has experienced severe or repeated flooding will see 25 percent rate increase annually until rates reflect true risk - beginning October I , 2013.
Owners of business properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area will see 25 percent rate increase annually until rates reflect true risk -- beginning October 1, 2013.

How are primary residences affected  by the new law?

Owners of primary residences in Special Flood Hazard Areas will be able to keep their subsidized rates w1less or until:

They sell their property;
They allow their flood policies to laps.
They purchase a new policies.

 Why did the NFIP ever start paying premiums that did not reflect the real flood risk?

The National Flood Insurance Program was created in 1968 to fill an unmet need, namely to cover flood damages that were not covered by most homeowners insurance policies.

In return for this federal support, co1mnunities were required to adopt flood protection standards for new construction, but pre-existing homes and businesses were allowed to remain as they were.

Owners of many of these older properties were offered insurance at lower, federally­ subsidized rates.

These lower premium rates never really reflected the property's true flood risk. In fact, the risk to those properties was always greater than new properties built to withstand flood yet those with a higher risk, paid less for flood insurance.

Flood risk continued to increase in the 45 years since the program began and the costs and consequences of flooding have increased dramatically. Last year, Congress passed legislation intended to make the program more sustainable and financially-sound  for homeowners in the decades ahead.
What Can I Do to Lower Costs?
Talk to your insurance agent about your insurance options, there may be ways you can lower your insurance premium
Consider remodeling or rebuilding
Building or rebuilding higher will lower your risk and could reduce your premium
Consider adding vents to your foundation or using breakaway walls, to lessen the flooding impact on building structures
Talk with local officials about community-wide mitigation steps that could help the community lessen their insurance costs

Community leaders:
Consider joining the Community Rating System (CRS) or increasing your CRS activities to lower premiums for residents. CRS-related premium discounts range from 5 percent to 45 percent.

 FEMA issues grants to states which can distribute the funds to communities to help with mitigation and rebuilding.