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New Broward Flood Zones Give Some Homeowners Break On Insurance

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PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – With costs of flood insurance hitting the roof, Pembroke Pines homeowner Susan Henderson will now be getting a break under her roof.

Henderson has just learned that she is no longer in a flood zone and may be able to ‘drop’ her flood insurance if she chooses.

“We bought the home a year ago, and we paid $400 for flood insurance and that would be a savings,” Henderson told CBS4 News.

Henderson and thousands of other Broward county property owners are no longer in a designated flood zone.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has updated its flood zone maps and about 60 percent of Broward county’s land parcels are now out of the zone that requires flood insurance.

Coastal areas are still included but much of the county ‘west’ of the Florida turnpike has been removed from the zone.

That means almost all of the properties in the cities of Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Weston are now out of the zones that require flood insurance.

Those cities required developers to elevate land with fill dirt and install improved drainage making the parcels less prone to flooding.

The FEMA changes take affect August 18, 2014.

Broward county property owners can check online to see whether or not their property is in a flood zone by visiting broward.org.

Once on the site, type in an address and the site tells you whether or not you are in-need of flood insurance.

While she may not need it anymore, Susan Henderson said she may keep her flood insurance anyway.

“In Florida you’re taking a big chance,” Henderson said.

While thousands no longer require flood insurance, 31,000 ‘new’ property owners have been ‘added’ to the FEMA flood plain map in Broward County—including Ft. Lauderdale resident Patty Gull.

“The street in front of my house has never flooded so I was surprised,” Gull told CBS4 News.

Gull paid a surveyor to check the elevation and found her home was higher than she thought and now she is asking FEMA to do a map revision.

“I still think it’s a good idea to carry flood insurance I just don’t want to have to pay the higher premiums associated with being in the zone,” Gull said.

Even if you are out of the zone, some mortgage companies are still requiring homeowners to keep flood insurance so it’s important for residents to check with carriers after learning the designation.

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