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November 08
​House Bill Introduced to Delay NFIP Rate Increases

Last week, House and Senate Congressional members introduced bills that would delay National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increases for four years. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 1610/ H.R. 3370) was introduced in both chambers in response to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), which was signed into law on July 6, 2012. BW-12 aimed make the NFIP program more financially stable, by reflecting true flood risks in communities. 

Implementation of BW-12 included some unexpected complications, however, including rapidly increasing flood insurance rates. For example, homes and businesses built to code and with no history of flooding in FEMA’s special hazard zones are having their annual insurance premiums go up from several hundred dollars to more than $20,000. Many counties are concerned over the impacts that these rate increases will have on their citizens and businesses in flood zones and ultimately the county. As rates increase, residents cannot sell properties nor afford the new rates. This impacts county governments as property values drop and tax bases disappear. S. 1610/H.R. 3370 would delay implementation of the new rates and authorize an affordability study to look at these challenges. 

NACo supports efforts to adopt and implement risk reduction of mitigation measures related to actual natural disaster risks, as well as a sustainable, fiscally responsible National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that protects the businesses and homeowners who built according to code and have followed all applicable laws. NACo urges Congress to amend the Biggert-Waters Act to keep flood insurance rates affordable while balancing the fiscal solvency of the program. NACo also urges Congress to reinstate grandfathering of properties (not policies) that were built to code, have maintained insurance or have not repeatedly flooded, and to implement rate structures that reflect economically reasonable rates.

Contact: Julie Ufner at or 202.942.4269 or Arlandis Rush at or 202.942.4236​


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