Mannix About Manatee: Flood insurance hikes could flood us out

December 15, 2013 

When the annual invoice arrived, I'd glance at it, nod approvingly and toss it aside for payment.

Sticker shock?

It never happened during the decade I had flood insurance, which was well under $1,000 a year.

The only beef I had was the fact my house, a classic 1928 Ware's Creek cottage, wasn't in a flood zone.

The edge of my backyard was.

Regardless, I had to have it, so I was told.

Well, I finally sold the place a year ago, a logical move for practical reasons, namely I'd gotten married and was now living with my wife in South Manatee.

Never thought I'd say selling it was a good thing because of flood insurance.

Given the spiraling rate hikes that began kicking in Oct. 1 and are now at the epicenter of a political battle on Capitol Hill, I would not be able to afford it.

Increases of up to 600 percent?

Good grief.

That's what homeowners are getting blindsided with in varying doses along Anna Maria Island, Cortez, the Manatee River, northwest Bradenton and my old neighborhood, Ware's Creek.

One gentleman's annual flood insurance premium used to be $998.

It soared to $5,600!

How is that possible?

Only in America.

After covering the catastrophic damage wrought by the likes of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, the National Flood Insurance Program was in the hole to the tune of $24 billion.

Something had to be done.

The Biggert-Waters Insurance Reform Act of 2012, is what.

Congress eliminated subsidies that had kept rates so affordable for homeowners.

Sorry, Florida.

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