The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has called on the U.S. Senate to pass bipartisan legislation to protect homeowners from significant increases in flood insurance premiums, which began being phased in on Oct. 1. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1846), introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), would delay rate increases for up to four years by giving the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) time to develop a plan to help property owners who cannot afford higher premiums.
“ICBA strongly supports the bipartisan S. 1846 to protect homeowners and communities nationwide from higher National Flood Insurance Program premiums,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “Providing FEMA more time to investigate the potential impact on millions of Americans is essential to minimizing the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.”
Unless Congress acts, flood insurance rate increases under the Biggert-Waters Act would make flood insurance unaffordable for many policyholders who built to code and followed the law every step of the way. These increases would negatively affect home values and destabilize the still-recovering housing market in affected areas.
ICBA continues to work closely with coalition partners and members of Congress to stem these dramatic rate increases and develop a comprehensive solution. Community bankers nationwide are pressing their lawmakers to act promptly to ensure this devastating flood insurance issue is fixed, and the association strongly urges senators to pass this critical legislation.