Flood Insurance Reform Bill Passes Senate, Awaits President's signature

Mar 13, 2014

The U.S. Senate passed the House flood insurance bill that is intended to curb the huge rate increases experienced by homeowners.

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson

According to a release from Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the legislation caps flood insurance rate increases at no more than 18 percent. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency is charged with finding ways to keep flood insurance affordable.

“It’s not everything I wanted for homeowners, but it’s significant protection from unconscionable rate hikes,” said Nelson in the written release.

Passage of the House bill Thursday was considered the best course of action to give homeowners some immediate relief. 

Here’s a link to a copy the House bill:  http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140224/BILLS-113hr3370-SUS.pdf

The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Thousands of homeowners in Sarasota and Manatee Counties can breathe a little easier now,” said Congressman Vern Buchanan in a written press release. “The overwhelming bipartisan support for this measure is a shining example of how Congress could work – and should work.”

Buchanan said the flood insurance reform bill includes:

  • Bring certainty to the real estate market by allowing homeowners to pass on government-subsidized premiums to people trying to buy their homes instead of requiring purchasers to immediately pay full-risk rates.
  • Protect primary homeowners (in pre-FIRM structures) from catastrophic rate hikes by limiting rate increases to no more than 15 percent a year.  
  • Bring fairness to primary homeowners who played by the rules and built their homes to code by giving them the option to keep the policy assigned to them at the time of construction, regardless of new elevation determinations following remapping. 
  • Provide relief to those who have bought homes since Biggert Waters was enacted in July of 2012 by retroactively providing a refund or credit from their insurer.