Flood Insurance Rates Expected to Rise

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PANAMA CITY BEACH- Homeowners in flood-prone areas are hoping for a reprieve from pending insurance premium increases.

Barbara Pullen is one of those who say she's not ready for her bill to increase.

"I don't want to pay more, nobody does," said Barbara Pullen, homeowner.

The higher rates are the result of the bigger-waters flood insurance reform act of 2012.

It’s supposed to make the nation's flood insurance program more financially sound.

But the legislation eliminated some of the homeowners' subsidies.

When those expired on October 1st, residents began to see their rates increase.

In Bay County several areas are flood zones.

The closer you are to the water, the higher the chance of annual flooding.

It’s still unclear, however, how many homeowners would be affected.

"My neighbor's swimming pool overflowed and we are on the downside of the slope, so we not only got our water, but his water too," said Pullen.

Many homeowners didn't have flood insurance, before the potential rate hikes, because of the expense.

"Some are concerned about the cost, particularly with their homeowner’s policy getting very expensive, they don't want to get the added cost of flood insurance," said Trey Hutt, Hutt Insurance Agency owner.

Hutt also believes some homeowners just don't think they'll need it.

"Someone hasn't flooded in 40 to 50 years; they think they'll never have a problem. But in those 40 and 50 years we poured a lot of concrete and asphalt and that water is going to have to run somewhere," said Hutt.

A bipartisan spending bill expected to pass the house and senate would suspend some of the increases mandated by congress until October 2015.