Waters unveils plan that delays NFIP premiums
Oct. 28, 2013 – House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is pressing legislation that would, among other things, implement a NAFCU-sought delay in premium increases by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Waters said the package, due to be released early this week in the House and Senate, is expected to delay changes in the program called for under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. That includes required premium increases. It would also require the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees NFIP, to complete an affordability study and propose regulations that address affordability issues.
The bipartisan package is the result of several weeks of negotiations with Democrats and Republicans in both chambers. On Oct. 9, during the recent shutdown, Waters convened a bipartisan meeting of nearly 20 House members plus Senate staff to formulate consensus on a package to delay and fix the program. She held a conference call Friday to firm that up.
“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,” she said in a statement.
According to Waters, the legislation will require FEMA to propose regulations that address identified affordability issues within 18 months after the completion of the study and give Congress six months to review it.
The delay in the Biggert-Waters Act provisions, she said, would apply to primary, non-repetitive loss residences that are currently grandfathered; all properties sold after July 6, 2012; and all properties that purchased a new policy after July 6, 2012.
NAFCU has written lawmakers in the House and Senate urging a delay in NFIP premium hikes, which are expected to be unaffordable for many and lead to a drop in home values.
"Thaler: Delay NFIP premium increases," 10/21