The President has now signed the long awaited and fought for legislation to help to keep coverage affordable.
President Barack Obama officially added his signature to the hard fought legislation, turning the flood insurance bill into a law and making certain that the increases in premiums would not rise by any more than 18 percent per year.
This was not legislation that came about easily or without considerable controversy.
Senator Mary Landrieu (D – Louisiana), was among the bill’s most vocal and adamant supporters. She received a call early in the afternoon (local time) on Friday, to advise her that the flood insurance law had been signed. She expressed her happiness with the achievement, stating that “we fought the good fight” and that there would now be thousands of families within her state and across the country who would immediately find relief from the skyrocketing premiums.
Now homeowners are asking what the difference will be to their own flood insurance premiums.
At the moment, Landrieu is pleased with the fact that “we reestablished in this arduous legislative process that affordability is important to the long-term stability of the flood insurance program.”
The signing of the bill brings to a close a massive effort over the last two years in order to try to keep tremendous increases in insurance premiums under control. This will have an impact on an estimated 5.5 million policyholders. The increases were the result of an overhaul of the law, known as the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, which had been designed to make the federal coverage program solvent.
The point had been to make the premiums reflect the risk more accurately. However, when implemented, the increases were greater than expected. It was common for premiums to double, or even rise by ten times their previous levels, threatening to make the coverage cost prohibitive for many homeowners.
Now, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act has placed a cap on the yearly premium increases to an average of 15 percent per year, with no single policyholder seeing a rise that is any greater than 18 percent. This applies to the nine different FEMA property categories.