February 13, 2014

NAFCU reiterates need to delay NFIP rate increases

Feb. 14, 2014 - NAFCU reiterated the need to delay sharp flood insurance premium hikes Thursday as House Majority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced the House will consider a modified version of the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act" in late February.

"NAFCU is pleased that the House will consider flood insurance legislation that would help homeowners who otherwise would potentially face huge hikes in flood insurance premiums," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "NAFCU supports a delay in implementing rate increases until a such time that FEMA completes its mandated affordability study and Congress can review the study to address any issues that may need attention to sustain a reasonable flood insurance program."

Cantor issued a statement Thursday that the House would take up the bill the week of Feb. 24. "The Senate bill irresponsibly removes much needed reforms and imposes additional costs on taxpayers. The House will act to protect the flood insurance program but also protect homeowners from unreasonable and unrealistic premium increases," he said.

At the end of January, the Senate passed S. 1926, a bill from Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., that would delay flood insurance premium increases under the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. NAFCU has warned lawmakers that sharp increases in premiums could impede home sales, block home buyers' access to credit and harm the housing recovery.

The Senate legislation would provide up to a four-year delay in some premium hikes under the 2012 reform law. The measure is cosponsored by Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Mary Landrieu, D-La., and David Vitter, R-La.