Thaler: Delay NFIP premium increases
Oct. 21, 2013 – NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler on Friday urged Senate leaders to delay increases in National Flood Insurance Program premiums until an affordability impact study has been done.
Under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act, some premiums for the NFIP are being increased this year. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the premium increases will primarily affect those whose policies are currently subsidized – about 20 percent of policy holders – and will have the most effect on properties within a “special flood hazard area.” FEMA says a 25 percent annual premium increase will immediately affect 5 percent of subsidized policies.
NAFCU, as well as several lawmakers from regions affected by Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, have urged delays in the increases. Thaler pointed out that a promised affordability impact study has not yet been completed or reviewed by Congress.
“New premiums could be unaffordable to many, dropping home values in a tenuous economy,” Thaler wrote. “We are already hearing reports from our member credit unions that these impacts are beginning to materialize, so any action on this matter must be timely.” Thaler also reminded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that a bipartisan group of 24 senators expressed their support for a delay last week.