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Tampa Property Insurance Lawyer Ted Corless Talks Flood Zones — WTSP

REPORTER: Thank you, Tammy. With 6 weeks left in hurricane season, some Bay Area residents are being forced to cover their homes with flood insurance, as soon as possible. One viewer connected with us after she found out her flood zone suddenly changed after nearly 10 years. Here’s 10Connects reporter, Erica Pitzi. KELLY AMOS: Total shock! ERICA PITZI: The shock came in the form of a letter. Until this week: KELLY AMOS: We’ve never needed a Flood Insurance. ERICA PITZI: But, now the bank says Kelly Amos’s family must take immediate action to get Flood Insurance. In the 9 years they’ve lived here, Kelly says they’ve never had water in their house despite the fact that they have a pond in their backyard. KELLY AMOS: To be not in the Flood Zone and all of a sudden be in a Flood Zone. ERICA PITZI: It turns out FEMA, the government agency that designates Flood Zones changed her zone in August, so now, Kelly’s home in Pinellas County is smack-dab in the middle of a high risk Flood Zone and she doesn’t understand why. KELLY AMOS: From one number to another number to another number trying to get any answer. ERICA PITZI: To try and get answers for Kelly we sat down with property insurance expert, Ted Corless. He says FEMA has the right to adjust Flood Zones but, as a home owner, you have rights too. TED CORLESS: There could be this possibility that the designation was made incorrectly. ERICA PITZI: Kelly can dispute FEMA’s Flood Zone change but proving it to the bank is a tough task. TED CORLESS: It’s unlikely that the letter’s gonna back off unless they could get some indication that the change in designation was an error. ERICA PITZI: And that could cost money, but it’s probably less than the coverage would cost. KELLY AMOS: And now, all of a sudden, we gotta have Flood Insurance and it’s another 1000$ to 1600$ a year. ERICA PITZI: That’s money this family of four does not have. KELLY AMOS: We’re just trying to start to save up a little bit of money and here comes another bill. ERICA PITZI: Even if Kelly decides to dispute the zone change she still has to get the coverage within 45 days. If she wins the dispute, she’ll be credited any money already paid. Now, to find out if your Flood Zone has changed, head to our website 10Connects.com .