JOE CAVARETTA / South Florida Sun Sentinel

FL - The Damage in Florida From Rising Sea Levels Already Is Here | Commentary

Rising seas haven’t flooded us out yet, but they’re already wreaking havoc in a batch of ways — on flood insurance, property insurance, mortgages, property values, beach health and more. Sea-level rise isn’t an approaching problem; it’s a right-now problem.

Flood insurance

This year — Oct. 1 to be exact — the cost of federal flood insurance is going up dramatically because of sea-level rise and climate change.

For years, flood insurance from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has been priced artificially low and heavily subsidized by the Treasury Department.

Now, after innumerable worsening flood disasters, FEMA is instituting “Risk Rating 2.0,” which for the first time looks at individual properties’ flood risks and prices policies accordingly.

Rates for a primary residence are going up by as much as 18% annually, and there will be surcharges and fees on top of that.

Risk Rating 2.0 will also greatly increase the number of Florida property owners required to buy the pricier flood insurance. Property ownership costs, property values, and Florida’s real estate market in general will soon be significantly affected.

Property insurance

Due to losses from hurricanes and coastal flooding from sea-level rise and climate change, this year Florida’s insurance carriers have applied for 26% to 34% rate increases on property insurance. That translates to a minimum $700 increase in the average Florida homeowner’s 2021 property insurance premium.

Read more.