Congress reaches deal to delay Biggers-Waters Flood Premium Rate Hikes
Some flood policyholders have been receiving incredible premium increases in their flood as a result of the Biggers-Waters Act. The increases have been concentrated in flood prone areas, but the rate increases have caught property owners by suprise. Congress has reached a deal that could delay those increases by as much as four years. From Insurance Journal:
The new legislation calls for a four-year delay in most rate increases and requires FEMA, which administers the flood program, to complete an affordability study and propose regulations that address affordability issues.The bipartisan deal comes after several weeks of negotiations with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. Waters said that on Oct. 9, in the midst of the government shutdown, she convened a bipartisan meeting of nearly 20 House members, as well as Senate staff, to build consensus around an agreement to delay and fix the program.“Over the past several months, I have felt the harm and heartache that many Americans have already experienced as a result of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. From the start, I have made clear that I would lead the effort to fix the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act,” said Waters in a statement released by her office announcing the deal.She said the legislation will be released this week in the House and Senate. It will impose a delay likely to total four years for the most vulnerable properties, by delaying implementation of rate increases until two years after FEMA completes an affordability study, which was mandated in Biggert-Waters but not undertaken.