Menendez pushes bill to delay flood insurance rate hike

January 13th, 2014 by admin

We wanted to share this interesting article written by Herb Jackson with you!


A bill to delay steep increases in federal flood insurance premiums looming for many homeowners in New Jersey has strong bipartisan support and could come up for a vote in the Senate this week, Sen. Bob Menendez said Tuesday.

Menendez, a Democrat from North Bergen, stopped short of saying the bill has the 60 votes needed to advance, but said at a Capitol news conference with a dozen other senators he was hoping a big majority would persuade the House to quickly follow suit.

A 2012 law known as Biggert-Waters mandated an end to subsidies on many policies in the flood insurance program, which owes the Treasury nearly $24 billion because of losses from Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

Menendez said his bill would postpone increases on primary homes facing higher rates either because new flood maps put a property in a higher risk zone, or because low rates that were grandfathered in when maps changed in the past are now being phased out.

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that delaying rate increases would cut the program’s revenue by $2.1 billion over the next decade.

Many homeowners never knew they were getting subsidized rates and are stunned when told of the true cost of providing coverage. The added cost, which Menendez said could raise annual premiums from $1,000 to $10,000 in some cases, also can make homes unaffordable and unsellable.

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