FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- WINK has learned help may be on the way for people faced with skyrocketing flood insurance bills, but it may not be enough to save some peoples' homes and businesses here.
The House just introduced a bill that would delay these huge spikes. We spoke with a Fort Myers Beach business owner who has to pay almost $50,000 or close up shop.
The affects this bill is having on Southwest Florida home owners and business owners is catastrophic. We're talking a 25 percent rate increase or more just on flood insurance.
"You can't ask a few people to pay for everyone and you can't ask a few people pay and it puts them out of business," said Jacki Liszak, Owner of the Sea Gypsy Inn.
Jacki Liszak's flood insurance bill is going from $2,700 to almost $47,000, that's 1,600 percent jump!
"I kept looking at the paper going 'What?'...'What?' It took me about four or five minutes to realize I was looking at the premium not the coverage."
The sticker price for the flood insurance for her building has sent waves that are now reaching local and state lawmakers.
"I think they were kind of thinking I wasn't telling the truth and when I sent my Declaration page over to them, the horror, I could just hear the horror, the horror in their voice," said Liszak.
Why such a jump? The "Sea Gypsy Inn" is in a low-lying, flood prone area, and is now affected by Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act as of October 1st. Tens of thousands of people are facing similar rate hikes.
"I think this is one of the most significant and most important items facing this beach," said Mayor Alan Mandel.
Both U.S. Senators from Florida and the Governor say the Federal Government needs to step in, but the Federal Government is shut down, and Jacki is worried she will be too.
The new law was passed because the flood insurance program went into an $18 billion deficit after Hurricane Katrina. It applies to those who bought their businesses or homes in June 2012. And Jacki, like many, now has to pay the new premium unless the federal government does something to fix it.