Lawmakers are beginning to use insurance as a way to sway voters
Flood insurance is beginning to become a political platform in the U.S. It has been several months since Congress took action on the cost of flood protection, introducing new rules that delay rate hikes for a time. This has provided some homeowners with a reprieve from higher insurance rates, but coverage will eventually become significantly more expensive, especially as flood maps continue to be redrawn. Politicians are now beginning to use this issue to their advantage.
Senator is taking action on the flood insurance issue
Senator Mary Landrieu, as well as those looking to take her seat in future elections, has begun to highlight the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which was passed in March of this year. The law places a limit on how much insurance premiums can grow in a single year. Currently, this limit is set at 18%. Landrieu played a role in getting the legislation signed into law, and is using it as a tool to showcase what she can get accomplished by remaining in office. Last week, Landrieu held a hearing that was specifically focused on flood insurance and its costs. She has vowed to push for faster refunds for homeowners and will be campaigning for more accurate flood maps to be drawn.
Refunds coming to homeowners thanks to amendment sponsored by Representative Bill Cassidy
Landrieu’s opponent in the upcoming elections, Representative Bill Cassidy, is also using flood insurance as a political tool. Last week, Cassidy announced that homeowners that had been paying higher insurance rates before the new law took effect in March would be issued beginning October 1 of this year. Cassidy noted that these refunds are due to the “Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment” that was introduced to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Cassidy is expected to take further legislative action on the issue of flood protection, if he is able to win office.
Flood insurance may soon be open to the private market in some states
Flood insurance in the U.S. is managed by the federal government. The insurance program responsible for this coverage is currently crippled by outstanding debt. Some states have questioned the ability of the federal program to meet the needs of homeowners and are looking into opening up their flood market to the private sector. Private insurers are somewhat cautious when it comes to providing coverage for flood damage, but some have expressed an interest in offering such protection.