[StBernard] House Passes Flood Bill Amendment

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Mar 6 00:27:08 EST 2014

House Passes Flood Bill Amendment

Insurance industry associations react to the passed amendment that repeals
increases in flood-insurance premiums.

INN Breaking News, March 5, 2014

In a 306-91 vote, the U.S. House passed its amendment to H.R. 3370, "The
Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014."

The Grimm-Waters bipartisan bill limits premium increases to 18 percent per
policy or 15 percent of an average of premiums in a particular flood zone,
according to Bloomberg. Changes to the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 are an
effort to help with the "sticker shock" some consumers are facing as a
result of two provisions that create drastic premium increases in many parts
of the country.

The Senate passed its version of the legislation, S. 1926, on Jan. 30 in a
67-32 vote.

Industry associations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association
of America (PCI) welcomed the House vote. "We appreciate that the House
amendment to H.R. 3370 will address some of the 'unintended consequences'
impacting flood insurance policyholders following the enactment of the
Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012," said Nat Wienecke, SVP,
federal government relations for PCI. "We thank Congress for working with
the industry to address the technical and timing realities of implementing
any programmatic changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
ensuring a thoughtful and transparent implementation process for
policyholders and other stakeholders. PCI strongly supports a financially
sound NFIP and moving the NFIP toward sound financial footing, protecting
policyholders and taxpayers, and setting flood insurance rates on a path to
encourage the gradual expansion of a private market for flood insurance."

The Big "I" also applauded the vote, saying the bill would repeal the
entirety of Section 207 of Biggert-Waters and would therefore reinstate the
"grandfathering" of policies located in communities with a new or redrawn
map. H.R. 3370 would also stop the elimination of subsidies for pre-FIRM
properties that are bought and sold, which is an extremely problematic
provision in Section 205 of Biggert-Waters.

"This represents a major win for independent insurance agents, as Section
207 and the bought/sold provision of Section 205 were the two specific items
that the Big 'I' has been working on with Congress to find a solution," said
Charles Symington, Big "I" senior vice president for external and government
affairs. "The Big 'I' hopes that the Senate and House will quickly resolve
the differences between their two version of flood insurance reform in order
to provide meaningful relief to consumers harmed by the drastic price
increases associated with Biggert-Waters."

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