State Sues to Stop Flood Insurance Hikes

Notices started arriving in mailboxes this summer. Flood insurance was going to be more expensive, much more expensive. Mississippi filed suit in late September, contending massive rate hikes were based on yet to be complete studies that are required by the 2012 law. On Thursday, Florida joined the lawsuit.

Governor Rick Scott says, "They didn't do their job, they were supposed to do a study, they didn't do that."

More than two million Floridians buy flood insurance. Most are required to carry it by their bank. About two in ten policy holders are facing the biggest increases, which could result in their lender seeking significantly higher monthly payments.

CFO Jeff Atwater calls it a recipe for disaster. "Unless something is done soon, there is a greater likelihood that a Floridian will lose their home financially to the cost of the act rather than the cost of a flood."

While Florida is only filed a friend of the court brief, officials are hoping it will put pressure on congress to make changes quickly.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state is keeping all of its options open. "All I'm going to say now, we are looking at any possible recourse. We feel now the proper move is to join in an amicus brief with Mississippi, let's see how that plays out."

Both Bondi and the Governor are calling on President Obama to delay the hikes, something Federal Emergency Officials who manage the program say can only be delayed by Congress.

Supporters of the hike say it will discourage building in sensitive areas. Meanwhile, the state continues to explore creating its own flood insurance program or making it more attractive for private insurance companies to enter the market.


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