COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - It's your money and more homeowners will be required to buy flood insurance because more people now live in flood zones.
FEMA just released the flood insurance rating maps to Collier County. So far, 50 thousand homes could be affected. The biggest change comes in Golden Gate Estates.
"It was in an unidentified zone before, so you didn't have to purchase insurance," says Nick Casalanguida, Collier's Growth Management Deputy Administrator.
But now, most homeowners with federally backed mortgages will have to buy the insurance. It can cost anywhere between $200 to $2 thousand each year.
"It depends on the size of the structure, what zone you're in, and the value of home," says Casalanguida.
Homeowners we talked with don't like the idea of having to spend the extra money.
"Where I live it doesn't flood," says Golden Gate Estates homeowner, Denise Fussell.
"I'm not too happy about it," says homeowner Paul Grenier.
Casalanguida says if you don't purchase flood insurance, the mortgage company will purchase it for you. Homeowners can't really shop around for prices because they're set by the federal government. But, they can opt out if they own their home outright, or if their home is built on a pad.
"What they can do is hire a surveyor to say that pad is above flood zone stage," says Casalanguida.
But, that costs money too, between $300 and $1 thousand.
"The positive in a sense, if you live in a flood zone and purchase insurance you will have some coverage," says Casalanguida.
Collier County will have a hotline and a website set up for people to view the maps. Homeowners can also go to a series of meetings held at the following locations:
Monday, August 16, 2010 Thursday, August 19, 2010
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
St. John’s Church City Hall Council Chambers
625 111th Ave. North 207 Broadway
Naples Everglades City
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 Thursday, August 19, 2010
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Norris Community Center Mackle Park
755 8th Ave. South 1361 Andalusia Terrace
Naples Marco Island
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 Friday, August 20, 2010
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
IFAS/UF Extension Service Bldg. Immokalee Community Park
14700 Immokalee Road 321 North 1st Street