After having cleared Congress last Thursday, Obama is now set to sign this bill to provide relief to homeowners.
President Barack Obama now has the flood insurance bill in front of him, waiting to be signed, in order to provide homeowners within higher risk neighborhoods with some relief from what could have been massive increases to their coverage premiums.
This legislation, when signed, will reverse a large portion of the 2012 NFIP overhaul.
The changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) had considerable support at the time that the law was passed in 2012, but it didn’t take long for serious criticisms to develop as unexpected changes in the flooding zone maps, and other issues, caused premiums to rise tremendously for a far larger number of homeowners than had been predicted. These property owners were, understandably, incensed, and pretested vocally against the hikes to the rates that many of them couldn’t come close to being able to afford.
The Senate flood insurance bill saw a vote of 72 to 22 in the House before it was sent to Obama.
According to officials from the White House, the President has every intention of signing it. The NFIP was first introduced in 1968 and was meant to allow certain homeowners, tenants, and business owners to be able to afford coverage against flooding through subsidies. The policies for this program are written by the private sector but the rates are standard from one carrier and agent to the net.
To be able to qualify for the subsidies under NFIP, a property must be located in a community that has joined the program and that agrees to uphold solid standards of floodplain management. However, the program faced enormous losses from Hurricane Katrina and then found itself facing another round of astonishing losses from Superstorm Sandy. It now faces a deficit of $24 billion.
The bill that Congress sent to Obama last Thursday – which has been called the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 – has notably rewritten the original overhaul of the program, which was called the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. This will help to sand down the size of the premiums increases that hundreds of thousands of Americans would have faced under the law’s previous version.