Flood insurance bill to delay premium hikes passes Senate

U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran today voted for the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act,” which would delay price increases in flood insurance premiums on American homeowners.

“When Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in 2012, the goal was to make the National Flood Insurance Program sustainable over time,” Wicker said in a news release. “But, in trying to achieve reform, the law that Congress passed puts an impossible burden on millions of Americans through massive increases in flood insurance rates, which threaten livelihoods and communities nationwide.

“The bill passed by the Senate today would provide homeowners and businesses much-needed relief by putting the brakes on these dramatic premium hikes,” he said.

The bill, S. 1926, delays flood insurance premium hikes until the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mapping methods are certified as technically sound and an affordability study is completed.

“We should not be penalizing property owners who have played by the rules,” Wicker added. “Draconian premiums are an unworkable and unrealistic approach. Not only do they saddle hardworking Americans with exorbitant costs, but they risk alienating the very people that the flood insurance program is supposed to protect. With premiums they cannot afford, homeowners are forced to go without coverage or move away. No one benefits when flood insurance premiums lead to foreclosure.”

Sen. Thad Cochran said, “It is important that we make certain the government’s engineering practices and procedures are sound, and understand the implications of these rates before we allow them to devalue private property and ruin people’s lives.”