On Tuesday, the House passed legislation aimed at curbing premium increases in the nation's flood insurance program by a vote of 306 to 91. The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), reverses some of the changes to the National Flood Insurance Program under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
The Senate passed its version of flood insurance legislation in January. While the bill passed by the Senate was more aggressive in delaying reforms from the Biggert-Waters legislation, it is expected that the Senate will accept the bill passed by the House.
The House bill would provide retroactive refunds for people who have had large flood insurance rate increases due to the sale or purchase of a home, cap average annual premium increases at 15 to 18 percent and allow subsidies for insurance rates that are based on current flood maps.
The House bill also requires FEMA, which administers the flood program, to notify communities and members of Congress of remapping as well as models used in the mapping process. And it includes assessments on property owners to build up an National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reserve fund.