Congress Introduces Bipartisan Flood Insurance Legislation

New bills would delay targeted provisions of Biggert-Waters.
house in flood, flood insurance 101

I am sure you have heard this by now, but there has been much confusion that congress up in DC has already passed a delay in the new flood insurance bill that has affected many of us starting October 1st.  No delays have been passed but only proposed.  Read more below…

Last week in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, legislators introduced bills that would delay targeted provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters).

The bipartisan and bicameral legislation, titled the “Homeowner Insurance Affordability Act of 2013,” was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and in the House by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Among its top provisions, the legislation would delay implementation of both the phase-out of “grandfathered properties” that are primary residences, and the phase-out of pre-FIRM subsidies for primary residences that are sold or have new policies.

Biggert-Waters was a vitally important law that provided security for 5.6 million NFIP policyholders, while also sending the program on a path towards strong financial footing. But the Big “I” is concerned that the two provisions mentioned above have the potential to financially harm individual consumers and, more broadly, the overall health of the U.S. economy.

The legislation introduced this week would delay implementation of these specific Biggert-Waters provisions, for primary residences only, until two years after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completes a study on the affordability of NFIP policies. Although Biggert-Waters requires this study, FEMA recently announced it will not be completed for another two years, meaning  the new bill would amount to a four-year delay of the targeted provisions.

The Big “I” is encouraged that a bipartisan and bicameral group of leaders is exploring ways to preserve the integrity of Biggert-Waters, while also mitigating the potential financial burden it may create for consumers and the economy. The association looks forward to working with both members of both parties to move the new bill through the legislative process.

John Prible is Big “I” vice president of federal government affairs.

More info to come as we receive it from Washington.  Nothing has been passed yet, but this is certainly the first step to getting something passed to help the real estate industry across the country but more importantly, here in the Lowcountry.

Let us know how we can be of service.

Andrew Muller, CIC, AAI, PRIS
Managing Private Client Insurance Advisor

*this content was provided by the Independent Insurance Agents Association

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