ONLINE UPDATE: Senate passes Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

by Staff reports
Thursday, March 13, 2014

The U.S. Senate passed the H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, on Thursday, March 13.

The 72-22 vote means the bill will now head before President Barack Obama.

H.R. 3370 took steps toward structural reforms for the 2012 act’s dramatically increased flood insurance rates.

“Ending skyrocketing flood insurance premiums was personal to me. I am the ‘Waters’ in ‘Biggert-Waters.’ And I couldn’t be prouder to tell the hundreds of thousands of middle class families who have been suffering that relief has arrived,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters stated in a March 13 press release. “… It is with great pride that I tell homeowners living in flood-prone regions: you now have certainty. You now can rest easy. You now know that the cost of flood insurance will never again undercut your ability to buy, sell, or remain in your home.”

Annual increases are capped at 18 percent per property, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency can still enact premium increases, ranging from 5-15 percent.

The original Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act was an effort to balance the National Flood Insurance Program’s budget, estimated at $24 billion in debt.

On March 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3370 with a 306-91 vote.

Full story will print Thursday, March 20.

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