Nugent bill aimed at delaying NFIP rate hikes
Oct. 1, 2013 – A bipartisan bill proposed Saturday by Rep. Richard Nugent, R-Fla., to delay an increase in premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program was considered unlikely to get final action in time to prevent the first round of increases from taking effect today.
Nugent’s bill, H.R. 3218, would delay rate changes for three years to give FEMA and Congress more time to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of the maps rates for certain regions. The measure would revise increases being implemented under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act.
A chief sponsor of the flood insurance act, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., sponsored a similar provision earlier this summer as an amendment to appropriations. On Monday, she called for a delay in the rate increases and spearheaded a letter to House leaders urging action.
Signed by 73 House members and sent to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the letter urges action “providing relief from the rapid and unanticipated flood insurance rate increases.”
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the premium increases that kick in today 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 Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, writing to the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy in connection with its hearing on the 2012 act’s implementation, urged delaying the scheduled increase until a required study on affordability impact is completed. FEMA Administrator William Fugate testified that changes in rules implementing the statute need to come from Congress.
Thaler's letter to Senate Banking subcommittee