Congress introduces legislation to delay NFIP rate hikes

Efforts to delay some flood insurance reform-related rate hikes are picking up steam. The bipartisan agreement reported on in last week’s Agent Headlines article quickly morphed into the Homeowner Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. The bipartisan and bicameral legislation was introduced this week in Congress. It would postpone targeted provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, including the implementation of phase-outs of “grandfathered properties” that are primary residences and pre-FIRM subsidies for primary residences that are sold or have new policies. The delay would last until two years after FEMA completes a study on the affordability of NFIP policies. While Biggert-Waters requires this study, FEMA recently announced it would not be completed for another two years, meaning the new bill would amount to a four-year delay of targeted provisions. The new legislation also would require FEMA to address a host of issues that have arisen from its implementation of measures under Biggert-Waters.