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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Senator Schumer Warns New York Homeowners About Flood Insurance Surcharge

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make major changes to the new flood insurance law.  Schumer stated that the new law is unfair and has led to the “misapplication of an additional fee of $250 for many Long Island homeowners renewing their flood coverage.”

On April 1, FEMA began charging flood insurance policyholders an additional $250 if the policy covers their secondary residence and $25 if the policy covers their primary residence. Schumer noted that homeowners must fill out a new “proof of primary residency” form with their yearly insurance renewal, otherwise FEMA will default to charging them the secondary home fee of $250.

Schumer said this is because many residents — and even some insurance companies — are still in the dark on the new renewal requirement and haven’t been filling out the necessary documents. Schumer warned residents of the change and urged them to check their bills to see if they were charged an extra fee of $225.

Schumer said he is pushing FEMA to scrap this new rule altogether and go back to the drawing board to come up with a policy that is not potentially punitive to homeowners, especially since so many are still getting over the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

“After being hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, unsuspecting Long Island homeowners are now being socked with a surprise fee of $250 because of a new, unfair policy on flood insurance renewals,” said Schumer.

Schumer added: “Many Long Islanders remain in the dark on this new renewal requirement and that’s why FEMA should scrap this confusing and potentially punitive policy altogether. FEMA needs to go back to the drawing board and quickly figure out a new and fairer way to implement their renewal policy.”

The new mandatory surcharges are being applied to all flood insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A policy for a primary residence will include a $25 surcharge. All other policies, including those of non-residential properties and non-primary residences, will include a $250 surcharge.

Read Senator Schumer's full press release.