Imagine moving into your new Florida vacation home only to find a $24,300 flood insurance bill in your mailbox.
Welcome to the world of George and Karen McLaughlin, Maryland baby boomers who decided to follow other “snowbirds” south for the winter. They bought their piece of paradise on one of the many channels in New Port Richey, but recent flood insurance changes now frighten the McLaughlins more than the ever-present threat of a flood.
“Our agent thought it was an administrative error,” said McLaughlin, when he received that eye-popping bill for the property’s flood policy last October. ”A few days later they called to say there was no mistake.”
“What its shocking to me is that I believe my Realtor, my closing agent, my insurance company and my landlord, one of them should have known this was coming prior to my settlement, and that was going to affect me,” he told Watchdog.org
McLaughlin told his story to Darn Blomquistto, a vice president of RealtyTrac, who wrote about the issue in the group’s online newsletter.
Property owners and real estate agents are beginning to feel the sting from what they call the”secondary effects” of flood insurance reform, known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, signed into law in 2012.