New Flood Maps in Pinellas County Could Affect Insurance Rates
The updated federal flood maps in Pinellas County went into effect on Tuesday.
The cards are used to identify who, with federally guaranteed mortgages, is required to purchase policies. And they help establish minimum development requirements – for example, how high new houses should be built above the flood level.
And then they are used to fix the flood insurance rates. This is something the Federal Emergency Management Agency is changing in October as part of a new pricing methodology it calls “Risk rating 2.0“.
Lisa Foster is the Pinellas County Flood Plain Administrator.
“It’s really important that people talk to their flood insurance agents now,” she said. “When the 2.0 risk rating goes into effect in October, it could really have an impact on rates.”
FEMA says the new national pricing approach tries to make insurance rates fairer by incorporating more variables into its calculations. This includes factors such as frequency of flooding, types of flooding, and cost of reconstruction.
The Pinellas maps are the result of a coastal flood risk study started in 2012 and under review since 2018.
“The new methodology is going to look at the distance to the water whether or not you’re on a barrier island, what kind of foundation you have – that is, you’re on a slab,” Foster said. “Or are you on stilts or pillars?” What is the elevation of the first floor. There are a number of parameters to determine the actuarial risk that will be used. “
Foster said people with federal flood insurance policies might see their rates go up gradually, rather than all at once.
Anyone wishing to see if their home or business is in a flood zone can click on www.floodmaps.pinellascounty.org