Covering Louisiana

Mar 5, 2014 5:44 PM by Kari Beal

Bill to cap flood insurance premiums reaches Senate

The U.S. Senate is debating a bill that will affect everyone with flood insurance. It's called the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act." It passed the in House yesterday and would limit the increases on insurance premiums. The bill is in response to the "Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012," which extended the National Flood Insurance Program and increased premiums for many residents in high-risk flood zones.

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is a supporter of the revised bill and said it makes the insurance more affordable.

"This has been one comprehensive effort to stop the draconian raid increases that passed Congress two years ago that shouldn't have, called Biggert Waters. It literally took affordability out of the question," Landrieu said.

Those in support of a revised flood insurance bill gathered at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce today.

"Homeowners will have affordable insurance rates. It will help stabilize the housing market here and help banks to participate in doing mortgages again in a meaningful way," District Deputy Director for Congressman Charles Boustany Michael Hare said.

The revised bill would cap premium increases anywhere from 15 to 18 percent. The bill would also force the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct an affordability study and recognize levees that were not previously recognized in the Biggert Waters Act.

"FEMA will have to do a lot more reporting than they have been and their maps are going to have to be accurate, they're going to have to recognize local levees which is very important to Louisiana," Landrieu said.

If it passes the senate the bill could be on the president's desk by the end of the week.

All congressmen from Louisiana voted yes to this revised bill--except Representative Charles Boustany. Boustany said he supports the bill, but was not able to vote because of weather prevented him from being in Washington.




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