ST. PETERSBURG — Flood insurance rates will return to more affordable levels for many people come May 1, as the federal government’s insurance program looks to quickly enact changes passed last month.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency advised insurers this week that new and renewed policies issued May 1 and after will be restored to rates set before last year’s roll-out of the Biggert- Waters Act.
Lower, subsidized premiums will be reinstated for older properties that FEMA had determined were paying too little based on their risk, though rates will gradually climb each year.
“It’s something I’ve been trying to get done for a while now,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando. “It’s long overdue and I’m glad FEMA is moving quickly in the wake of Congressional action.”
Insurance agencies had warned homeowners that it could take many months, possibly a year, before FEMA began enacting premium changes, but the announcement this week means some people will get a break within a few weeks.
“The encouraging thing is FEMA is very, very aggressively trying to resolve this,” said Neal Conolly, president of Wright Flood, a national insurance agency based in St. Petersburg.
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