Legislation would protect against dramatic flood insurance hikes

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has joined with Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to introduce legislation to avoid potentially drastic flood insurance rate increases.

Cochran is the primary cosponsor to the Responsible Implementation of Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was developed in response to increasing concerns from Mississippians about the prospect of significantly higher flood insurance rates being imposed as early as 2014.

The Vitter-Cochran legislation would delay the phase-in period for new flood insurance rates until communities have time to better plan for them, give flexibility to state and local governments to assist with subsidizing flood insurance, and reform some Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood mapping procedures.

“Families, businesses and communities in Mississippi and around the nation need assurance that new flood insurance premiums will not be cost prohibitive. Our legislation seeks to ensure that any higher flood insurance costs, on top of other insurance requirements, do not overwhelm family budgets or economic growth in areas that rely on the National Flood Insurance Program,” Cochran said.

“Flood insurance is obviously vital for business and families in Louisiana and this is a big, big deal for folks,” Vitter said. “We need to make sure that people who have been following the rules aren’t priced out of their homes because their flood insurance rates increase so dramatically. It’s a legitimate fear, and our bill would work to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Office of Sen. Thad Cochran