Senate Committee Holds Flood Insurance Hearing
On Sept. 18, 2013, a Senate Banking Subcommittee held the first hearing on implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. In addition to extending the National Flood Insurance Program for 5 years, the Act included several provisions phasing out subsidized insurance rates for about 20 percent of property owners and buyers. Only a few of these provisions have taken effect yet already, Realtors from across the country are reporting significant rate increases that call into question the continued affordability of flood insurance. NAR submitted the attached statement urging Congress to delay the rest of the rate increases until FEMA submits its congressionally mandated report on the affordability. NAR is also working with members of Congress and organizing a coalition of stakeholders to delay some of the increases in the federal government funding process. In the meantime, NAR would encourage agents working with buyers or sellers of property in the floodplain to let clients know that the costs of flood insurance could go up and has developed model language agents can use to make the disclosure.