"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

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

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...


FEMA REFERENCE

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.


ENDORSEMENT REMINDER

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.)


ON-TASK

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.


FEEDBACK

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.


US REPRESENTATIVE PRESS RELEASE

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!


US REPRESENTATIVE PRESS RELEASE

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.


FEMA REFERENCE

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.


HEADS UP!

RIPP Post Cards Resume

August 31, 2014

We have had a very good volunteer response in our call for participation in the RIPP (Reduce Insurance Premiums Project) study. But we still need more to achieve a statistically valid study result. We're about to send out another batch of postcards to owners of still more random (within various "strata") homes across the county.

Please monitor your mailbox, you may receive the pictured postcard from us soon. If so, pleasefollow the directions on the card...


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


MEDIA COVERAGE

"County faces wind rate increases"

August 28, 2014

The Key West Citizen recently reported about CITIZENS Insurance continuing to unfairly target Monroe County homes. FIRM will continue to work to rectify this inequity. We still need your help in dealing with this, though. If called on to participate in our Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP), please do!

    Click here to read the Citizen story.


ENDORSEMENT

Vote YES on the height referendum

August 20, 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.)


MEDIA COVERAGE

"FIRM home inspections are painless, helpful"

August 2, 2014

The Key West Citizen recently ran a letter to the editor from a happy home-inspection volunteer in our Reduce Insurance Premiums Project (RIPP) study, where the homeowner tells of his experiences with the inspection involved.

    Click here to read that letter.



OLDER NEWS

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