CREATED Jul. 15, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Living on or near the water is just one of the perks of owning a home in Southwest Florida.
But there's a price to living in paradise, and it comes in the form of your flood insurance premium.
"It can be up to a couple thousand dollars a year," Tracey Coppin, Owner of Coppin Insurance, said.
But county officials tell Fox 4 it won't be as high as it could be, after the Feds agreed to leave a 25% discount in place in unincorporated Lee County.
"If we lost all of this discount, we would lose $15 million in discounts that are available to our residents who have flood policies every year," Joan LaGuardia, the Communications Manager for the Lee County Department of Community Development, said.
If you're one of the more than 87,000 Lee County residents who qualify, the discount means an extra $200-$325 a year in your pocket. For commercial properties, it means between $500-$1,200.
And all that money could help the local economy.
"That's money that stays to be spent in Lee County," LaGuardia said.
Keeping the discount is especially clutch this year because Congress just raised flood insurance rates overall.
"This just helps soften the blow a little bit," LaGuardia said.
And every little bit helps these days because you can expect rates to keep going up despite any discounts. But for now, it may be enough to let a few more folks by that dream home.
"It's really helping us in not being unaffordable, we don't want to keep somebody from being able to buy that Florida home they have always dreamed about," Coppin said.
The discount lasts for three years. But county officials say because the rating process just changed, it will be more difficult to get discounts in the future.