4/23/2014 - House passes flood insurance relief legislation
Though Congress can rarely find common ground when it comes to passing legislation, the House of Representatives was recently able to pass a bill that was signed into law on March 21 and should be extremely helpful for flood insurance policyholders as well as those who'd like to be.
House Resolution 3370, better known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, overwhelmingly passed the lower chamber of Congress by a vote of 306 in favor and 91 opposed. In doing so, supporters of the law believe that the legislation should enable more people to purchase flood insurance for an inexpensive price.
"I join with my colleagues in the House and Senate, Republican and Democrat in celebrating this rare moment of harmony in a Congress increasingly defined by bitterness and resentment," said New York Rep. Michael Grimm following the bill's passage, who was one of the bill's primary sponsors. "It's hard to find the words to express how incredibly proud I am to have sponsored this tremendous victory for my constituents as well as one of Congress' most consequential bipartisan achievements in recent years."
In addition to helping to reduce rates, the bill should also provide a refund for policyholders who have had their flood insurance rates increase after buying or selling a home, the Associated Press reported. This may have been due to some of the unintended consequences of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.
"I am pleased that after months of hard work, Democratic lawmakers were able to reach a bipartisan agreement that will ensure relief for hundreds of thousands of homeowners living in flood prone region," said California Rep. Maxine Waters, a co-sponsor of H.R. 3370 and a key member of the House Financial Services Committee. "I believe that … we have struck a reasonable compromise that will address affordability concerns, bring accountability to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and ensure the stability of the National Flood Insurance Program."