Cost v. Risk
After all the effort we have now read that Pinellas County put into making its infrastructure and residents more resilient to flooding thru improved CRS requirements, let’s take a look at another populous county, this one on Florida’s east coast: Broward County. FEMA recently released its updated flood maps and the Sun Sentinel reports that about 65,000 properties may be required to buy flood insurance for the first time due to changing flood zones. The article provides some interesting prospective.
Under the current maps, which are 30 years old, flood zones cover about 105,000 of the county’s 480,000 parcels. The city of Pembroke Pines has an added 6,905 properties that will now be in flood zones. Mayor Frank Ortis plans to challenge the maps and is quoted as saying it’s not altogether necessary and “an unfair burden and expensive.” But next door in the city of Miramar, Mayor Wayne Messam says he won’t challenge the new maps that add more than 20,000 properties, acknowledging that flooding has gotten worse and “it behooves property owners to have protection.”
So we have two cities within minutes of each other and their leaders are sending opposing messages, with one saying mandated flood insurance is expensive and the other saying residents need the protection. We only need to look back three weeks ago at the ravages of Hurricane Ida and its unexpected floodwaters that wiped away 250 homes in Caruso NC, close to where I was visiting at the time. And where the mayor says “expensive,“ we ask: How do you calculate how expensive it is to lose your home, your largest asset, because you can’t repair it after it’s flooded as there is no insurance or other means to replace it? The article points out that the average federal flood insurance policy in Florida costs just under $600 a year. Private flood insurance policies can be even less expensive, depending on the specific property.
Just ask a Realtor. Realtors are on the front lines before and after the storm. While flood insurance may be an added expense at closing time, the relief on the faces of buyers after the storm because they had flood insurance is a priceless image and smart security in a state where “if it can rain, it can flood!”
LMA Newsletter of 9-20-21