Several have called for a delay to the increase in the premiums for coverage against floodwater damage.
A growing number of congressmen are now working together to help to delay the increases in flood insurance rates for victims of Superstorm Sandy through the introduction of a new bill.
The congressmen were working together to introduce the bill to boost the timeline before the increases.
So far, the congressmen involved in the introduction of the Flood Victim Premium Relief Act 2013 (H.R. 960) include Congressmen Michael Grimm and Gregory Meeks, who were then joined by Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Charles Rangel, and Eliot Engle. The goal is not to stop the hikes in the flood insurance rates, but to delay them for Sandy’s victims.
It would expand the timeline involved in the flood insurance rate increases from 5 to 8 years.
Congressman Grimm issued a release, which explains that the bill will lengthen “the premium increase timeline for primary residences in areas that have been declared a federal disaster area after July 6, 2012 from 5 years to 8 years.” Grimm stated that he feels that this bill is vital to being able to support homeowners through their continuing struggle.
In his statement, the congressman explained that if the current schedule for the flood insurance rate increase were allowed to continue, based on the boundaries defined by the new maps, then the homeowners who are still recovering from the damage they experienced from Sandy will be faced with a potentially impossible financial position. They would be required to have to pay their mortgages and contend with premiums that could increase to more than $10,000 per year in some circumstances.
He pointed out that these high flood insurance rates along with the other expenses that the homeowners have to face could “almost certainly” result in a surge in foreclosures and defaults, which would be exceptionally costly to the taxpayers “via the government’s exposure to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. Allowing an extra three years to increase premiums will give both homeowners and localities time make smart, long term flood mitigation and rebuilding plans.”