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AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 07, 2017 11:22AM
AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured [apnews.com]

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, an Associated Press analysis shows a steep drop in flood insurance across the state, including the areas most endangered by what could be a devastating storm surge.

In just five years, the state’s total number of federal flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency data.

Florida’s property owners still buy far more federal flood insurance than any other state — 1.7 million policies, covering about $42 billion in assets — but most residents in hazard zones are badly exposed. With 1,350 miles of coastline, the most in the continental United States, Florida has roughly 2.5 million homes in hazard zones, more than three times that of any other state, FEMA estimates. And yet, across Florida’s 38 coastal counties, just 42 percent of these homes are covered.

Florida’s overall flood insurance rate for hazard-zone homes is just 41 percent. Fannie Mae ostensibly requires mortgage lenders to make sure property owners buy this insurance to qualify for federally backed loans, and yet in 59 percent of the cases, that insurance isn’t being paid for. Average annual premiums range from about $4,200 in Horseshoe Beach, a town of 169 residents on the Gulf Coast where 78 percent of policies have been dropped since 2012, down to about $200 in several cities. In most, it’s between $300 and $500.

In the counties being under at least partial evacuation orders Wednesday (Collier, Broward, Monroe and Miami-Dade), where 1.3 million houses are estimated to be in flood hazard zones, the percentage is an even lower 34.3 percent.
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Floridians could find themselves with no money for flood repairs, just like people in Houston, where flood coverage dropped by 9 percent since 2012.

If Irma’s eye follows a track just west of Florida’s eastern coast, the initial storm surge could heavily damage the Florida Keys, the cities at the southern tip of Florida’s mainland, Florida City and Homestead, parts of Miami and Miami Beach, and other Atlantic coast cities, said Brian Haus, a professor of ocean sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

The AP analysis shows that the number of flood insurance policies sold in the Keys, Miami, Miami Beach and Homestead has stayed basically steady since 2012, but tiny Florida City has seen a drop of 31 percent. Miami-Dade County overall has seen a 7 percent drop in policies sold, falling from 371,000 in 2012 to 342,000 today.

Just to the north in Broward County, home to Fort Lauderdale, the state has seen its biggest drop among major counties, falling 44 percent from 372,000 policies five years ago to 207,000 today. County officials say they don’t track the flood insurance program, leaving that to the cities.

If Irma’s eye moves instead up Florida’s west coast, that would put Tampa, St. Petersburg and other Gulf cities in danger to significant storm surge, Haus said. St. Petersburg has seen an almost 10 percent drop in federal flood policies written in the last five years, while Tampa has seen a 3.5 percent drop, according to the AP analysis.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 07, 2017 11:29AM
Also: The other bad news we'll have to live with.

From sugar mills to hog farms, U.S. agriculture braces for Irma
[www.reuters.com]

CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hurricane Irma sent farmers and food companies scrambling to protect processing facilities, farm fields and animal herds in the South and Southeastern parts of the United States on Wednesday.

Florida sugar and citrus processors rushed to secure rail cars and equipment that could be crushed, blocked or turned into flying projectiles. Cattlemen opened up their fences and moved animals to higher ground and wooded areas, which can offer some relief from high winds.

To the north, cotton farmers in North and South Carolina fretted their fields might be facing a fate similar to their Texas counterparts. Late last month, Hurricane Harvey, which became a tropical storm after making landfall in Texas, destroyed an estimated $150 million worth of cotton, ripping the bolls off plants and leaving white fiber strewn across fields.

At U.S. Sugar, a Clewiston, Florida-based sugar producer that farms, mills and refines sugar, staff are drawing down water levels in farm canals, securing processing facilities and making plans for post-storm cleanup, company spokeswoman Judy Sanchez said.
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Hurricane Irma is expected to impact the U.S. along the eastern coast of Florida, according to the National Weather Service, before moving on to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina - states known for cotton, grain and livestock production.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 07, 2017 12:26PM
Not only underinsured, but incredibly improperly built. Good story about Tampa / St. Pete...
[www.washingtonpost.com]
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 07, 2017 12:37PM
Florida government is complicit. They've been removing not only climate change science, but the predictions of rising oceans and potential flood impact from their websites for years.

'Why should I need flood insurance why the state of Florida and our governor says we are fine?'
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 12:39PM
Yeah, during the real estate crash, there was all of this hand-wringing about "moral hazard" - mustn't help people, even a tiny bit, with mortgages that were often pushed on them by fraudulent means by a corrupt financial industry.

And yet, cities ignore sensible zoning and building restrictions, because regulation is bad, and "freedom". Except when these particular obvious time bombs go off, and then they'll take all the government handouts they can get. Does "moral hazard" only apply when you're living on the edge?
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: $tevie
Date: September 07, 2017 02:08PM
Just an FYI, the assistance from the government for non-insured flood victims (or victims of the crap appraisals by insurance adjusters lowballing the damage) comes in the form of an SBA loan which must be paid back. The advantage is the low interest rate and small minimum payment compared to what one would pay elsewhere. The government does not just hand cash out to flood victims with no strings attached. I wish.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2017 02:09PM by $tevie.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 02:26PM
...and $tevie, please understand that I don't oppose those loans or aid to others in disaster situations.

It just gets my goat, as I'm sure you know, to have heard "personal responsibility" and "not my problem" and "moral hazard" as excuses to screw those down on their luck in the past...only to turn around and have these same dicks expect the big, bad government to help out when it's their disaster.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 07, 2017 02:32PM
With what Homeowners insurance has gone too in Florida since 2004, many people couldn't afford the flood insurance as well homeowners. I'm not saying it was right, or smart - just realistic. Homeowners insurance of $5,000 a year is not uncommon, and that is with a $5k deductible (and hurricane clause which generally exempts another $10k for storm damage).

The the builders lobby got regulations relaxed to stimulate growth.

I expect more national insurers to leave the market, many small ones to belly up, the state underwriters to have to be bailed out with tax money - and rates (for those who still have insurance) to go up 30% or more next year.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: Ted King
Date: September 07, 2017 02:49PM
I know this thread is about Florida but I heard a report today on NPR from an expert on mitigating storm damage in Houston and she said something that stuck with me. She said that Houston leaders have a strong tendency to minimize regulations that might get in the way of development. And she said that they didn't have enough inspectors to even monitor what regulations they do have on development. She gave an example of developers putting up housing in areas the the Army Corps of Engineers said should only be developed if the developers did things in some other area that would mitigate the impact of their development. She said developers got their permits to build based on promises to do the mitigation but nobody checked on them to follow up and the developers frequently did not follow through on mitigation.

I am in favor of helping most homeowners who did not know of the problems with insufficient regulation but I does bother me that Houston area leadership could go all libertarian about development and then act the opposite of libertarian when it comes to dealing with the consequences of their libertarian-type actions. I don't like the idea of all of us taxpayers having to put forth probably extra billions of dollars more than we would have if the Houston leadership had been more diligent about development. I really would like to tell cities and individuals that if you want to go all libertarian-like about development then you should be consistent with your libertarian-like attitude and suck it up and deal with the consequences without the rest of us bailing you out.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 02:51PM
Quote
Ombligo
With what Homeowners insurance has gone too in Florida since 2004, many people couldn't afford the flood insurance as well homeowners. I'm not saying it was right, or smart - just realistic. Homeowners insurance of $5,000 a year is not uncommon, and that is with a $5k deductible (and hurricane clause which generally exempts another $10k for storm damage)....

I expect more national insurers to leave the market, many small ones to belly up, the state underwriters to have to be bailed out with tax money - and rates (for those who still have insurance) to go up 30% or more next year.

Do you think the market is trying to send a message here? There are realistic projections that say in fifty to 100 years, much of South Florida will be under water, even in bluebird weather.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 07, 2017 03:45PM
Irma is a wind storm; not like Harvey. Flooding is not expected to be a problem except is storm surge prone areas. Anyway, Florida might just get lucky.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 07, 2017 04:05PM
Or they might get flooded.

Eye expected to make landfall around Miami 8 AM Sunday. High tide is around midnight and noon that day. Depending on the interaction, storm surge could be 5-10 ft. (or less...or, y'know, more.) Several sources say 85,000 people in Miami live at 3 feet above sea level or less. (I presume- hope to God - that they'll all be out of town.)

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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: bfd
Date: September 07, 2017 05:21PM
And just like the rest, they'll be lined up thousands deep for the FEMA feed that follows. And guess who's paying for that?

So if you build your house in a riverbed or a swamp, it's OK because here in MAGA you can rebuild a bigger, better home right in the same place! We'll even pay for it. Several times, if necessary.

Don't worry, be stupid.
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: $tevie
Date: September 08, 2017 01:40PM
Quote

These days, it’s not just flood insurance for private property that’s on Larson’s mind. Public infrastructure is increasingly at risk, too, especially after President Trump recently signed an executive order reversing an Obama-era directive making the federal government plan for climate change.

Obama’s executive order required national infrastructure projects to take steps to mitigate flooding if they were building in a flood-prone area, which was especially important for things like water and sewage plants. Trump axed it about a week ago, arguing it was another burdensome regulation.
[www.vox.com]



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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: max
Date: September 12, 2017 10:50PM
Quote
Ted King
I know this thread is about Florida but I heard a report today on NPR from an expert on mitigating storm damage in Houston and she said something that stuck with me. She said that Houston leaders have a strong tendency to minimize regulations that might get in the way of development. And she said that they didn't have enough inspectors to even monitor what regulations they do have on development.
Factually incorrect pile of sensationalist bs by a lazy reporter, most of the development responsible for flooding, development that eliminated areas of natural water retention, has occurred well outside city limits. When it comes to the city ordnances, especially related to new construction, reconstruction, even remodeling, they are very strictly enforced....
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: billb
Date: September 13, 2017 04:57PM
Quote
max
Quote
Ted King
I know this thread is about Florida but I heard a report today on NPR from an expert on mitigating storm damage in Houston and she said something that stuck with me. She said that Houston leaders have a strong tendency to minimize regulations that might get in the way of development. And she said that they didn't have enough inspectors to even monitor what regulations they do have on development.
Factually incorrect pile of sensationalist bs by a lazy reporter, most of the development responsible for flooding, development that eliminated areas of natural water retention, has occurred well outside city limits. When it comes to the city ordnances, especially related to new construction, reconstruction, even remodeling, they are very strictly enforced....

Comeon now, NPR has its agenda to prozelytize.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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Re: AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 13, 2017 05:27PM
Quote
max
Factually incorrect pile of sensationalist bs by a lazy reporter, most of the development responsible for flooding, development that eliminated areas of natural water retention, has occurred well outside city limits. When it comes to the city ordnances, especially related to new construction, reconstruction, even remodeling, they are very strictly enforced....

Lesseeee...

On the one side we got max, on the other we got:

Bob Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America, a former Texas insurance commissioner
Carolyn Kousky, director of policy research and engagement at the Wharton Risk Center
Mark Browne is a professor of risk management and insurance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
Roy Wright, current head of the federal flood insurance program
Brock Long, FEMA's director
Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the insurance industry's Insurance Information Institute
etc. etc.


[www.npr.org]
[abcnews.go.com]
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