Home » NEWS » Senators introduce bill aimed at keeping down flood insurance costs

Senators introduce bill aimed at keeping down flood insurance costs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today joined Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to introduce legislation to avoid flood insurance rate increases.

Cochran is the primary cosponsor to the Responsible Implementation of Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was developed in response to increasing concerns from Mississippians about the prospect of significantly higher flood insurance rates being imposed as early as 2014.

The Vitter-Cochran legislation would delay the phase-in period for new flood insurance rates until communities have time to better plan for them, give flexibility to state and local governments to assist with subsidizing flood insurance, and reform some Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood mapping procedures.

“Families, businesses and communities in Mississippi and around the nation need assurance that new flood insurance premiums will not be cost prohibitive. Our legislation seeks to ensure that any higher flood insurance costs, on top of other insurance requirements, do not overwhelm family budgets or economic growth in areas that rely on the National Flood Insurance Program,” Cochran said.

The ongoing implementation of some of the flood insurance reforms included in the Food Insurance Reform Act of 2012 have generated confusion and concern as FEMA issues new flood map rules that will affect insurance coverage requirements and rates.  These directives would supersede rules that have been followed in recent years to guide home and business construction in Mississippi, Louisiana and other flood-prone regions.

To address these problems, the Responsible Implementation of Flood Insurance Reform Act would:

• Ensure that communities that were developing new maps by the end of 2013 will be able to maintain the grandfathered rates that are subject to change in Section 207 of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012;

• Allow a five-year phase in of actuarially sound rates for newly purchased homes;

• Authorize state and local governments flexibility to subsidize homeowners flood insurance properties if they so choose;

• Enable 25 percent of mitigation funding in a given year to go directly to homeowners to support pre-disaster mitigation improvements;

• Prohibit FEMA from considering the level of federal funding or participation in a flood control structure project when determining the level of protection that the project provides the community; and

• Require that FEMA include all protections provided by any levee, dam or other flood control structure regardless of accreditation status before the flood insurance rate map or update may be finalized.

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About MBJ Staff

2 comments

  1. I am glad to hear that these Senators are taking the initiative to combat these flood insurance hikes. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 could make life very difficult for many homeowners living in Florida, as well as other locations that fall within the lines of the federal flood-zone maps. I recently talked to a friend of mine who works as a realtor in St. Petersburg, FL, and she was telling me that some people could be asked to pay an extra $10,000 per year. For many middle-class families, this is simply not feasibly doable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*