Homeowners could see flood insurance changes as FEMA releases new risk map

Flood insurance rates will be changing for some homeowners in the Tampa Bay area.  

FEMA's revised federal flood insurance rate map will take effect on August 24. It replaces the maps drawn up in 2009.

The map shows flood zone, base flood elevation, or both. It does not show county flood plains and storm surge evacuation zones. 

Changes to FEMA's map are important because they could impact homeowners' existing flood insurance policies and premiums. 

The new map takes several factors into consideration, including how properties in certain neighborhoods are built.

In the bay area, most of the changes will impact Pinellas County properties. 

Experts say now is the best time for homeowners to check with insurance companies about possible premium or policy changes. 

Some homeowners could actually save money, with about 3% of homes being downgraded from a high-risk zone to a lower zone. About 1% of the parcels of land will be going to a higher risk. 

To check an individual property, visit floodmaps.pinellascounty.org