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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Congress Introduces Bills to Delay NFIP Premium Increase

Congress introduced three bills last week that seek to delay certain flood insurance premium rate increases under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Strengthen, Modernize and Reform The National Flood Insurance Program (SMART NFIP) Act in order to address concerns over provisions in the correct Biggert-Waters Act. According to Sen. Landrieu's press release, "The SMART NFIP Act will delay premium increases, repeal provisions preventing new owners of sold homes to continue subsidized rates, and allow the rebuilding of key community facilities destroyed in a disaster that lie in velocity zones (v-zones)."

Louisiana Representatives, led by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA02), introduced H.R. 2199, The Flood Insurance Implementation Reform Act of 2013. According to the press release, "this bipartisan legislation will improve the National Flood Insurance Program by ensuring that the implementation of new rates do not burden homeowners or slow the recovery of our housing market." Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) is a co-sponsor of this bill.

In response to concerns that the Biggert-Waters Act would further burden residents still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced S. 1075, the Saving Homeowners from Onerous Rate Escalation (SHORE) Act, which would "help homeowners avoid steep increases in premiums by slowing down the reduction of the federal subsidy [and] would spread out the increases in flood insurance rates over 10 years."