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Monday, November 4, 2013

Rep. Waters Supports Legislation to Delay NFIP Rate Increases

Maxine Waters [D-CA], House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member, supports a bipartisan piece of legislation that would delay by four years the scheduled NFIP premium increases included in the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. 

The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370, is a result of bipartisan negotiations over the last several weeks. According to Rep. Waters, "Over the past several months, I have felt the harm and heartache that many Americans have already experienced as a result of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. From the start, I have made clear that I would lead the effort to fix the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act."

The rate delay would apply to:
  • Primary residences
  • Non-repetitive loss residences currently grandfathered
  • All properties sold after July 6, 2012 [Effective date of Biggert-Waters Act]
  • All properties that purchased a new Flood Insurance policy after July 6, 2012
Included in the legislation:
  • Allows FEMA to utilize NFIP funds to reimburse policyholders who successfully appeal a map determination.
  • Eliminates the 50% cap on state and local contributions to levee construction and reconstruction
  • Protects the so-called “basement exception,” which allows the lowest proofed opening in a home to be used for determining flood insurance rates.
  • Establishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map [FIRM] Advocate within FEMA to answer current and prospective policyholder questions about the flood mapping process.
  • Requires FEMA to certify that the agency has fully adopted a modernized risk-based approach to analyzing flood risk.
The legislation also "requires FEMA to propose regulations that address the identified affordability issues within 18 months after the completion of the study and establishes a six month moratorium thereafter to provide for Congressional review."

Learn more from Rep. Waters.

Learn more about H.R. 3370.