March 14, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, the US Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HR 3370). “This is the best news we’ve gotten out of Washington for a long time,” said Jody Wainio, WRAR President. “NAR has been working hard to convince Senators to simply pass HR 3370 rather than draw out the process in conference. Thank goodness we prevailed!” The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.
As passed, the bill repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House. NAR had urged a swift vote in the Senate.
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