DJ 33 1/3

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Flood Insurance Premiums Are Rising

More than a million Floridians will see their flood insurance premium rise.

Most will see increases of less than $120 a year, but annual rate hikes like that are for the foreseeable future.

The National Flood Insurance Program, is changing the way it calculates what property has to pay. Risk Rating 2.0, is meant to help pull the program out of $20 billion debt and encourage people to live in safer, less flood-prone homes.

“It allows us to set accurately sound rates and communicate flood risk better than we ever have before,” David Maurstad, senior executive of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

This pricing will lead to higher prices for a majority of Florida’s 1.7 million policyholders, as well as a decrease for about 20% of policies, more than 340,000 policyholders.

October 1 is the date that this new method of pricing applies to new flood insurance policies.

Miami Beach is exploring a way to help residents cover the cost of floodproofing their properties from heavy rains and high tides.

The city is considering offering residents matching grants of up to $20,000 for installing flood panels, swapping out a driveway for permeable pavement, or planting absorbent landscaping.

Miami Beach’s proposal stands alone in offering city money to homeowners as a grant.

The program won’t be running until late 2021 or early 2022, as initial funding, is up to $666,666.66 a year, coming from an old agreement with Miami-Dade County.

The city renamed it the Miami Beach Resilience Fund, and the final grant would still require city commission approval.

The city plans to explore using rent payments from the new Convention Center Hotel, once it’s in business. Miami Beach voters approved to set aside $2 million of the hotel’s annual rent payments for, stormwater projects like more flood pumps.

Large-scale projects like raising sea walls or elevating houses, will need to start to meet the rising tides. South Florida is predicting more than two feet of sea level rise by 2060.

Adapting to those higher waters is going to cost Florida billions.

Photos by Getty Images

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