brier March 5, 2014 No Comments

The House passed and sent to the Senate late Tuesday legislation that completely revamps the flood insurance premium structure imposed by a 2012 law.

Congress acted under intense pressure. As stated by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va) when the House opened debate on the bill, “when the new flood insurance rates were published last fall, I met with many people in West Virginia who were shocked by the flood increases in their bills that far exceeded the worst-case scenarios.”

According to Capito, the only choice of homeowners “was to spend their life savings or walk away from their house.”

The bill is H.R. 3370, “The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act.”

“The bill before us today will make sure people who purchased their home only to see their premiums skyrocketed stay in their homes,” she said. “They will see their premiums rise towards a sound rate but on a path that is much more affordable. And, we are taking steps [in this bill] to fix some of the mapping issues in the flood program.”

Comments by key senators after the 306-91 House vote indicates the Senate will act rapidly to shove the House bill through the Senate, which passed its own version of legislation on Jan. 30, effectively tabling the comprehensive premium increases and mapping policy changes for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) mandated by the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. One industry lobbyist said he believes final action will take place by the end of the week.

More here from Property Casualty 360.