House Passes Flood Insurance With Amendments
On March 4, 2014, the House voted 306-91 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) with amendments. The House amendments further rein in and hold the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues. As passed, the bill would repeal 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. It also limits any premium increase to 18% annually and adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance. The Senate must now pass the amended version before the bill can become law. NAR is pressing for a swift vote in the Senate.