House Passes Flood Insurance Bill

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We recently wrote about the Senate vote to advance the Homeowners Flood Insurance Act, which would postpone rate hikes in order to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency time to complete an affordability study and re-evaluate flood area map accuracy, and now the vote has moved to the House.

There was a lot of speculation that the bill would face opposition in the GOP-controlled House, where Republicans were hoping to transition to a private market system for flood insurance. The speaker of the House had expressed that he didn’t like the bill, but the U.S. House voted 306 to 91 on a similar legislation which would roll back the sharp increases in premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program.

The House’s Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act would prevent higher flood insurance premiums from being forced on primary homeowners trying to sell property and would assure that homes built to meet current flood zone map regulations would not be reclassified under a new map and face much higher rates.

The bill is especially important to Florida, as the state has nearly 40% of all the homes in the National Flood Insurance Program and was disproportionately affected by a bill which aimed at reforming the system. In a rare care of bipartisan unity, not one of Florida’s 27-member delegated voted against the bill. Representative Bill Cassidy stated that the House measure strikes “the right balance” between consumer affordability and fiscal solvency for the flood insurance program.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for delegation. For a chance at becoming law, an identical bill must be passed by Senate. The Senate must decide whether to pass the House’s version of the bill or hold a conference committee in order to work out a compromise measure between the House’s bill and the Senate’s bill passed in February. The compromise would have to pass both the Senate and the House again to become law.

Stay tuned for future updates on the flood insurance bill. If you have any questions about your flood insurance policy, contact us today.

For all your flood insurance needs, call Avante at 305-648-7070.