Lower insurance premiums motivate growth of state&#39s most vulnerable places

No 1 can deny the appeal of living beside or close to Florida’s wonderful seashores and coastal areas. The elegance and charm merely can’;t be identified anyplace else in the country.

Unfortunately, these also are the regions most probably to be hit hardest by storms, hurricanes, and now, rising sea levels. This raises a challenging dilemma for Floridians — must all taxpayers carry on to be required to subsidize the flood, wind and catastrophe insurance coverage for those who reside in the most vulnerable regions of the state? And ought to new development be curtailed in these areas, offered its important financial affect on taxpayers and the greater danger of loss of human life?

The solutions are critical to 100 Close friends of Florida since of our ongoing involvement in coastal improvement patterns and what that implies to the setting and taxpayers.

This concern has garnered fairly a bit of interest with the passage of the federal 2012 Biggert-Waters Act, which is designed to finish taxpayer subsidization of the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program, or NFIP. In certain, this act was meant to finish the subsidies paid for by all federal taxpayers for very low, non-market-driven insurance coverage premiums for properties in flood-prone areas.

It also was meant to stop an increase to the NFIP’s present deficit of much more than $ 24 billion, a lot of which has accumulated considering that Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Since of a considerable backlash, both the U.S. Senate and Home have now voted to undo significant provisions of Biggert-Waters.

Compounding the difficulty in Florida is our state’s Citizens Residence Insurance coverage which, although only supplying wind injury coverage, is also subsidized by Florida taxpayers. You can see this subsidy reflected on your car insurance and homeowners’ insurance premiums in which a surcharge is being assessed to cover losses from Florida’s 2004-2005 hurricane season.

Can you imagine how a lot this subsidy will rise, both public and private, when a long term main storm event crashes into 1 of Florida’s heavily populated locations? A 2010 organizing scenario for a Class 5 storm hitting the Tampa Bay spot projected about $ 250 billion in economic losses of all kinds, which includes home harm, business losses and flood harm.

This is why 100 Buddies of Florida has joined a varied group of organization, conservation and nonprofit organizations recognized as More powerful Safer Florida to encourage appropriate changes to present insurance programs, curtail unreasonable subsidies, and provide industry-primarily based insurance coverage options.

Incorporated in this mix must be enhanced emphasis on community resiliency, mitigation options, affordability concerns, personal insurance incentives and a phase-in of necessary fee increases to remove subsidies.

An unintended consequence of artificially lowered insurance coverage premiums is to motivate even more building in the most vulnerable parts of the state, exactly where loss of daily life and limb is very likely to be best.

As the 2014 legislative session commences, a variety of payments have been introduced that deal with these essential issues. All citizens of Florida need to shell out consideration to proposed adjustments to coastal insurance packages and the state’s catastrophe fund for disaster payouts now, before the inevitable next major disaster strikes our state and we all pay the charges

Charles G. Pattison is president of 1000 Pals of Florida, a statewide not-for-profit membership organization.

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