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11/5/2013 - Lawmakers' influence within the insurance domain

The Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform can impact how much homeowners and renters pay in premiums based on their flood risk.

Today is Election Day. While some are more momentous than others - such as when the president is up for re-election or it's time to elect a new commander in chief, it's important to do one's civic duty and vote, because legislators have a significant influence on the average American's life in a wide range of ways. Recent examples of this include the effects within the homeowners and flood insurance realm.

In July of last year, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. While the legislation doesn't substantially change the National Flood Insurance Program, it does create several adjustments to the program that's run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For example, the bill makes the program more financially stable, so policyholders can rest assured that they'll be compensated when they make a claim. It also alters the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which impacts how much homeowners and renters pay in premiums based on their flood risk.

According to FEMA, not everyone will be affected by the rate changes. However, premiums have risen for some individuals, up to levels that policyholders weren't prepared for.

Thanks to members of Congress, though, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking to keep premium hikes under control, such as California Rep. Maxine Waters. In a statement on Sept. 30, she said that she was disappointed to hear from several media reports - as well as a number of her constituents - that many individuals' insurance costs had risen so drastically. As a co-sponsor of the recent flood legislation, she vowed to do whatever it took to keep coverage affordable for all Americans.

"Plainly put, I am committed to fixing the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance law," said Waters.

For more information about Flood Insurance and how it can help protect you, speak with a Selective independent agent today.

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