Legislators agree to finalized flood insurance reform bill

A bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed on Friday to an amendment that finalized the Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which the House is expected to bring to a vote this week.

Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Steve Scalise (R-La.), Daniel Grimm (R-N.Y.) and other members of the House led the effort to improve the bill that would address the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“The House flood insurance bill includes long-term, lasting relief for homeowners across the nation,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy said the amended Flood Insurance Affordability Act includes small changes to guide FEMA’s implementation of the law and to ensure it gains support from both Republicans and Democrats.

Those changes would limit the allowable per-property rate increase, instruct FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums exceeding one percent of the policy’s value, require notification of changes to flood insurance rate maps and bring transparency to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The legislation includes four key components: reinstatement of grandfathering to prevent catastrophic rate increases, repeal of the BW12 provision that allows rate increases upon the sale of a home, refunds of excess premium charges and lower monthly rates.

BW12 reformed the NFIP in an effort to reduce dependency on taxpayer funding and address the program’s $24 billion debt.