Harbor Insurance - Flood Insurance/Hurricane season 2015

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With the official start of Hurricane Season on June 1, it’s time for some important updates, along with annual flood safety tips and reminders. Metro partner Larry Sacco with Harbor Insurance Group offers the needs-to-knows:

First, for homeowners or potential homeowners that are curious about the latest on flood insurance, here are highlights of the Grimm-Waters bill that went into effect April 1st, 2015: ­

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  • Prevents FEMA from raising the average rates for a class of properties above 15% and from raising rates on individual policies above 18% per year for virtually all properties.

  • Repealed the provision in Biggert-Waters that required homebuyers to pay the full-risk rate for pre-FIRM properties at the time of purchase, or on a new policy.

  • Repealed the provision in Biggert-Waters that would have terminated grandfathering, preventing potential rate hikes and regulations.

  • Requires FEMA to refund policyholders for 'overpaid' premiums.

  • Requires FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums that exceed one percent of the total coverage provided by the policy.

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And while we’re at it, some reminders, tips, and resources to help ensure flood readiness:

  • Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand that flooding can happen anywhere and affect where you live and work, and can impact you and your family. Sign up for weather alerts and check the weather forecast at weather.gov. Now is the time to be prepared by ensuring you have real-time access to flood warnings via mobile devices, weather radio and local media, and avoiding areas that are under these warnings. Visit ready.gov/alerts to learn about public safety alerts and visit floodsmart.gov to learn about your flood risk.

  • Take Action: Make sure you and your family members are prepared for floods. You may not be together when weather strikes, so plan how you will contact one another by developing your family communication plan.

  • Flood insurance is an important consideration: Just a few inches of water inside a home can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage that typically will not be covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Visit ready.gov/prepare and NOAA to learn more actions you can take to be better prepared, along with other important safety and weather information.

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Larry Sacco can be reached at Harbor Insurance Group at or 727-528-2240. Harbor Insurance is based at 810 63rd Avenue North, St Petersburg 33702.



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