As with most things in life, along with the good there are often challenges we must face and in 2014 for many property owners in Miami Beach, one such challenge will be the increasing cost of flood insurance.
In case you missed this story, Congress did not postpone the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increases involved in the 2012 Biggert- Waters Act that expired on January 1st, 2014. As a result, many of us in Coastal communities will be forced to pay significant increases in flood insurance premiums as the federal subsidy is phased out over the next 5 years to make up for the $24 billion shortfall in the NFIP. I will be recommending that our Board of Governors considers taking a position to lobby our representatives to reinstate the subsidized rates until a plan is established to allow for a more manageable method of covering the huge deficit.
On the plus side of the ledger, I am pleased to let you know about an interesting piece of legislation sponsored by Representative Fitzenhagen, being considered in Tallahassee which would require that students be taught financial literacy in high school. I mention this, because for the past three years, City National Bank has teamed up with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to offer high school students an opportunity to participate in a “Real Money Business Boot Camp”. Beach High students have had instruction in the classroom from CNB employees during their economics class over a two week period and then those students were challenged to put their skills to the test by playing a “Real Life” role and deciding on how they would allocate their resources in the game of life. Thanks to City National Bank, many of our Beach High graduates have had the opportunity to learn these important financial skills, and perhaps in the coming years, what they have learned in partnership with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce may become a required skill for all who follow.
I am sure for each of us in both our business as well as our family life we will face both ups and downs in 2014, and I am praying that each of you enjoy mostly sweetness in the New Year.
All the best,
President and CEO