NFIP Repeal and Reform Passes Today – A Victory For Homeowners Fought For By Realtors®
A REPEAL in the House on the unintended circumstances that resulted in extremely high flood insurance rates for homeowners, and business owners. Some of those policies with increases of over 700%. Today, the US Senate passed HR Bill 3370 the Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Next, it will go straight to the Senate and if passed without any amendment, will go to President Obama for signature. Here is what today’s successful vote means:
- It reinstates grandfathering of properties which were built to code requirements
- It Caps annual increases at 15%.
- It REFUNDS excess premium charges to policy holder who have had to pay excess premium charges (some of over 700% higher) and significant rate increases.
- It permanently removes the sales trigger that allows FEMA to raise insurance prices on a property when it sells.
- It funds the affordability study and mandates it’s completion
- It includes the home improvement threshold
- It preserves basement exceptions
- It allows payments to be made in monthly installments
- It allows reimbursement to policy holders for successful map appeals.
Can we just say THANK YOU to all the Realtors® and public policy staff who helped shape this bill for legislators, who financially supported the efforts via their personal RPAC donations that it took to bring attention to this issue to legislators across the Country because the CARE! The Bill passed with a vote of 306-91. (We’ll follow up tomorrow who the 91 were that voted against it!)
What does this mean for Florida? Well, you be the judge:
Over the past 35 years, Florida has paid four times more to what they have received in claims. All low lying properties, whether on the coast or not, below FEMA benchmark levels would have paid increases in flood insurance – even if they have never flooded. If someone in Florida, a home seller, business owner or investor who had a cap on their long standing insurance premium sold their home, that same home’s insurance rate for the new buyer could have increased astronomically – in some cases 400-700%! If this had continued, values from properties would have decreased as affordability of the home decreased due to a buyer not being able to afford a payment because of the added ridiculously high insurance. A large majority of Florida homes – especially in Pinellas County being the hardest hit because of outdated FEMA maps (with no updating planned in the near future). As you can see, we would have been in yet another crisis, with a market stigmatized as hazardous, with properties deemed unattainable and values spiraling downward once again, a curse for home sellers and for the State of Florida.
So, THANK YOU to all our Representatives who saw the light, who helped us bring about a change in the NFIP. You got this one right, and you righted the sails for homeowners in Florida and across the Country. We’ll publish the names of those you can THANK tomorrow!
Ask us about what REALTORS do for homeowners, homebuyers, businesses and more. It’s more than a commission, it’s about quality of life, it’s about protection of property rights given to us by the Constitution!