TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Gulf Coast officials, FEMA meet over flood insurance

Daily Photo Galleries

By Gannett News Service
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:27 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Homeowners who experience higher federal flood insurance premiums should work with their agents to make sure they are paying the correct rates under the new law, federal officials said on Thursday.

“A lot of changes happened just in the last few weeks,” said David Miller, associate administrator for the federal insurance and mitigation administration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We are going to get some people caught in some in-betweens.”

Miller and other FEMA officials met with Gulf Coast lawmakers on Thursday to discuss the status of implementing the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Congress passed the law earlier this year to block dramatic increases in premiums paid by some property owners covered under the federal flood insurance program. President Obama signed the bill into law in March.

“Passing the bill is only part of it,” Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., told FEMA officials. “How y'all are interpreting it and implementing it is on everybody's mind.”

Cassidy, co-chairman of the Congressional Home Protection Caucus, and other Gulf Coast lawmakers championed the measure, saying hundreds of constituents were in jeopardy of skyrocketing rate increases that posed tremendous costs for local economies.

Under the law, premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program can increase no more than 18 percent per property annually.

The premium increases were required under a 2012 law known as Biggert-Waters, which was designed to make the government's flood insurance program financially solvent by bringing rates in line with true flooding risks.

Premiums under the program have been heavily subsidized by taxpayers, and the program is $24 billion in debt.

The 2014 law also repeals a provision in the Biggert-Waters law that increases premiums — up to the full-risk rate over five years — when FEMA adopts new flood maps.

Gulf Coast lawmakers said they called for the FEMA meeting to learn what steps the agency is taking and how to make sure policyholders get the right information.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Chicago officer accused of putting gun in suspect’s mouth
  2. Doctor’s license reinstated pending hearing in W.Va.
  3. Labor market may not withstand higher interest rates, Federal Reserve chief Yellen says
  4. Senate to look at earthquake risks at California nuke plant
  5. GMOs: Science and skepticism
  6. Police: Drugs, alcohol not factors in Freeh crash
  7. Feds to protect 20 coral species
  8. Earthquake jolts Napa area in northern California
  9. Study links availability of medical marijuana with lower deadly overdose rate
  10. Study: Facebook, Twitter stifle discourse on hot-button issues
  11. Pair of ‘barbaric murders’ in Philly believed to have been carried out by gang
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.