"Over the past 35 years, Florida's families have paid into the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) over $16 billion, four times more than the amount they have received in claim reimbursements. We have done more than our fair share to make the NFIP financially sound. In addition, Florida's superior coastal building code standards and leading efforts in the area of hurricane loss mitigation have further reduced exposure for the NFIP. Florida's rates should commensurately reflect these important risk-mitigating factors."
-Gov. Rick Scott in a letter to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio


RIPP again featured in local newspaper

November 21, 2014

This week the Key West Citizen reported on how close FIRM is getting toward completing the "inspections" stage of the Reduce Insurance Premiums Project, but how we are still looking to fill those final few spots within the various "strata" that makes it one of the most comprehensive windstorm rate studies ever conducted. Click this pic to read it (or click HERE).

Just since running the story, we have already filled several more slots - but we're not quite there -- PLEASE let us know if you can help, and we'll see if your "stratum" is not yet filled.


Business and Professional Women Marathon pitch in for the RIPP

November 19, 2014

The Business and Professional Women Marathon organization recognizes the importance of FIRM's work to keep the Keys a place we can afford to live in. To support fairness in our insurance rates and especially to support FIRM's Reduce Insurance Premiums Project they have presented a generous donation to the cause. We are grateful for their support!

Women of BPW Marathon present check to FIRM Board member Mike Kraly


Monroe Commissioner (FIRM VP) Carruthers radio update on RIPP

November 17, 2014

Today, Monroe County Commissioner (and FIRM Vice-President) Heather Carruthers spoke with Bill Becker on US1 Radio's Morning Magazine, giving an update on FIRM's Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP).

She clarified points made in the Progress Report, and stressed how important it is to fill in those last few gaps ("strata") in the home categories to complete the study. Be sure to volunteer YOURS now if you've been putting it off....


Significant Progress on FIRM's
Reduce Insurance Premiums Project

November 13, 2014

We are pleased to announce significant progress in our comprehensive analysis of windstorm risk in Monroe County. The RIPP (Reduce Insurance Premiums Project) study involves the inspection of a statiscally established target number of 704 homes from Key West to Key Largo. To date, nearly 500 homes have been inspected, and another 170 homes have been volunteered for inspection.

Read the report: HERE

Please help us to sign up those last few required volunteers to achieve a statistically valid study result. Whether you have received our postcard (pictured) or not, get in touch with us to find out if your home is still needed for the study!

Click the pic for a larger PDF of the card that shows both sides.


It's all in the SLOSH MOM...

November 10, 2014

"S L O S H" = "Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes"

"M O M" = "Maximum of Maximums"

The SLOSH MOM tool linked from the pic (or from here) provides you with a mapping tool (similar to Google Maps) from the National Weather Service. It'll show the worst-case storm surge conditions on the resulting map - under each of the 5 Categories of Hurricane intensity.

Just scroll to the Island or other area you care about, and zoom in. (But not too much, it can't show details at a street-level zoom.) Then change categories to see how bad it can be....

Also see this article for more information about the tool: HERE.


Building Height Referendum tally

November 5, 2014


Commissioner Carruthers explains importance of Building Height Referendum

October 28, 2014

This week, Monroe County Commissioner (and FIRM Vice-President) Heather Carruthers again went to the voters with the full story on the importance of a YES vote on Key West's referendum to allow controlled granting of building height increases for flood mitigation. (FIRM's position is documented in this PDF.) She spoke with Bill Becker on US1 Radio's Morning Magazine...

The points made -- and others not mentioned -- are also spelled out in her recent submission to local newspapers, such as THIS ONE n Key West The Newspaper. Don't forget to VOTE!


More Keys communities pledge funds for FIRM's RIPP windstorm readiness study

October 21, 2014

The FIRM Board of Directors continues to be delighted to be able to announce that the leadership of two more Keys communities have recognized the importance of FIRM's Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP) windstorm-readiness study and have pledged financial support for the project.

The leadership of Islamorada - Village of Islands, has wisely and generously pledged $5,000 toward the cost of the RIPP study. We, and all of the property owners and residents of the Florida Keys, are grateful for this support.

Additionally, the City of Key Colony Beach's leadership has pitched in another $2000 toward the RIPP project, Again, our deep gratitude is self-evident.

These donations will be combined with the earlier $10,000 grant from Marathon (as posted previously) to help FIRM defray the overall cost of the inspections of the required 700+ dwellings and the analysis of the data that is gathered.

FIRM has issued a challenge to all Keys communities to support the ongoing efforts in the RIPP windstorm-readiness study, which ultimately affects all Monroe County residents.


Representative Raschein acts
on her RIPP Post Card

October 19, 2014

Last week, Keys Florida House Representative Holly Raschein recounted her experience with the the RIPP (Reduce Insurance Premiums Project) study inspection in a discussion with Bill Becker on US1 Radio's Morning Magazine...

We still need a few more volunteers -- especially in the Lower Keys above Key West -- to achieve the statistically valid study sampling we require. Please monitor your mailbox -- or pull out the card you put aside -- and please follow the directions on the card...


Updated Flood Insurance Manual

October 16, 2014

FEMA has extensively updated the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) "Flood Iunsurance Manual" and released the updates this month. They now provide the updated manual, broken into separate PDFs for manageable downloading, on their website.

Click here to view the FEMA page that indexes the full manual.


Vote YES on the height referendum

October 14, 2014

FIRM supports Key West's referendum that will allow homeowners to protect their property by elevating structures up to 4' above base flood level. This would not be a requirement for new or existing homes. Any elevation would be at the discretion of the homeowner (and, if the home is in Key West's historic district, subject to approval by HARC). FIRM believes this is an important tactic not only to mitigate against rising flood insurance premiums, but to protect our homes for decades to come

Here is the language of the referendum:

To protect property against flooding and reduce flood insurance costs for taxpayers citywide, should the City permit an exception to building height regulations when buildings are voluntarily raised off the ground, up to four feet above FEMA established flood levels, yet no more than 40 feet in height?

As you may know, FEMA will be re-drawing flood insurance rate maps over the next few years, and the result of that redrawing will likely vary by property. (Check out this video to learn more about the issue: http://youtu.be/wFYoIgtlJL8 .) Providing homeowners with the option to elevate their structures will help us preserve our community and our way of life.

    (Click here to open a PDF copy of this endorsement.)


FIRM To Meet with FEMA

October 5, 2014

FIRM this week has arranged for board members to meet with FEMA and our US Congressional Representative for discussions on how FEMA administers flood insurance, the validity of their data, why they spend so much of our premiums on administrative costs and understanding why so many in other flood-prone states are failing to pay their required premiums. (Florida pays in MUCH more than is ever paid back in claims, thus we are subsidizing the rest of America.)

The FIRM Board wants to make it clear how FEMA's drastic actions are affecting Keys residents and provide them with our recommendations. FEMA requested that this meeting be limited to Board members and selected authorities and invited experts, but we will report back to our membership in detail afterward. Stay tuned.


Reduce Insurance Premiums Project Inspections Prove Popular

September 24, 2014

As our Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP) progresses closer to meeting its statistically-valid inspection count, FIRM continues to receive enthusiastic feedback from those who have volunteered their homes for the project. Here's a recent email we received:

From: Keith Douglass <xxx@xxx.xxx>
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 3:53 PM
Subject: RIPP Inspection

We just had our home inspected in Safety Harbor, Lower Matecumbe Key and it was a simple process. My comments would be "I highly recommend agreeing to have your home inspected. We just did and it was a simple process. We need help attaining fair rates and one way to assist is agree to have your home inspected. Keep up the great work FIRM!!"

Click here to open a PDF with more of the recent testimonials.


Marathon City Council Pledges $10,000 toward FIRM's RIPP Wind Mitigation Study

September 11, 2014

The FIRM Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that the City of Marathon, with City Manager Mike Puto leading the charge, voted to support FIRM and its Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP) windstorm-readiness study. They have pledged $10,000 toward the cost of the study.

A great amount of thanks goes to Mr. Puto, as well as to Mayor Dick Ramsay, Vice Mayor Chris Bull, and Council members Keating, Senmartin and Bartus! The Marathon City Council has displayed generosity and proactive leadership in this very important study - the results of which will have far reaching effects for Marathon and all of Monroe County, our property owners and residents.

The challenge is now on for other local leaders within Monroe County to follow suit. We need help from every community in the Keys!


Competition for Hurricane Related Legislation

September 7, 2014

Keys Congressman Joe Garcia has recently launched a "contest" to gather ideas for hurricane related policies. There is one more week until the deadline for submissions (September 15). The full press release about the contest is posted here.

(Please note that Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe does not endorse or support any candidates for office. This is only being distributed as a service message.)

    Click here to open a PDF of the press release with submission details.


Non-Residential Floodproofing Requirements and Certification

September 3, 2014

FEMA's "Technical Bulletin 3-93" -- first published in 1993 -- has been updated earlier this year.

It "describes design, construction, and planning requirements for the floodproofing of non-residential buildings under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations and how to correctly complete the NFIP's Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures form. For the purposes of this bulletin, floodproofing means making a building watertight, substantially impermeable to floodwaters."

    Click here to open a 15-page PDF of the full Bulletin.


You'll find our older announcements and news
included within our IN THE NEWS Page: HERE.