January 08, 2014

Thaler urges support of NFIP premium delay bill

Jan. 9, 2014 – NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler on Wednesday urged Senate leaders to support S. 1846, the "Homeowner's Flood Insurance Affordability Act," which would freeze National Flood Insurance Program premium increases until a promised affordability study from FEMA is completed.

NAFCU has been calling on Congress and agencies for months to delay the premium hikes, which particularly affect those in flood-prone region. The affordability impact study was outlined in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and was not completed as promised before the premiums began to rise.

"Failure to pass this legislation could mean that premiums will continue to skyrocket for many Americans struggling in these uncertain times," Thaler wrote. "Furthermore, various local housing markets could face drastic negative impacts. New premiums could be unaffordable to many, dropping home values in a tenuous economy. We are already hearing reports from our member credit unions that these impacts are beginning to materialize, indicating that action on this matter must be made as soon as possible."

The legislation, introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has a bipartisan group of 28 cosponsors so far.

In July, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the original cosponsor of the flood insurance reform legislation, and other House members from both sides of the aisle urged FEMA to prevent these increases.