The House passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) on March 4 by a vote of 306-91 to ease flood insurance premium rates that Congress enacted in 2012 as part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.
In 2012, after multiple hurricanes, the National Flood Insurance Program was drowning in a sea of red ink and the goal was to reform the program and put it on a path to financial solvency which required establishing a rate structure that reflected the true cost. However, when implementation of the new rate structure began, it raised serious concerns about the current and future affordability of flood insurance, as well as the impact on the valuation of properties.
Under the House bill
premiums on properties that are newly incorporated into high-risk flood
zones would continue to be subsidized for the first year and premiums
would gradually increase each year until it reached an actuarial rate.
Annual surcharges would be levied on all policy holders to offset the
cost - a $25 surcharge on primary residents, and a $250 charge on second
homes, businesses and other non-residential properties.
The Senate passed a bill in late January to delay the flood insurance increases for four years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is scheduling a vote next week on the House bill. NMHC/NAA sent detailed letters of support on both the House and Senate bills.