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Prestige Insurance Group, Inc.

FloodingIn a flood of regional concerns, it was flood insurance that stood out.

On Wednesday, Lee County hosted representatives from Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Sarasota counties for a first-of-its-kind meeting on regional issues.

In the conversation that included six county commission chairs and six county managers, several topics emerged as shared priorities.

But by the end of the six-hour meeting, the group chose flood insurance as the No. 1 issue facing Southwest Florida — and one that needs a hard look.

"We all agree the best strategy with FEMA is to develop this argument that taxpayers, rate payers, need options other than just FEMA, and we want to support initiatives that give people options," said Charlotte County board Chairman Ken Doherty.

One of those options might be "dropping out of the federal program," Lee County Chairman Larry Kiker said.

After FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — developed new flood maps in 2012, thousands of Southwest Florida homeowners saw their insurance premiums skyrocket.

A revised law was created in March, but Florida also followed with its own revisions to loosen the barriers for private insurers to offer flood insurance.

The group also plans to send a letter to the region’s state and federal legislative delegations outlining "this is who we are, this is who we represent," which is more than a million voters, said Kiker.

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Make sure you're protected from Mother Nature's fury. Call Prestige Insurance Group at (305) 969-8776 for more information on Florida flood insurance.

(Article courtesy: Heather Wysocki via News-Press)
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