January 29, 2014
The United States Senate will act today on the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA), S.1846. The passage of this bill has been the focus of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, a coalition formed in May of 2013 by elected officials and business leaders, including St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom. The Coalition was formed in response to drastic flood insurance premium increases as a result of a confluence of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, inaccurate and incomplete FEMA flood maps, and questionable actuarial calculations.
The goal of the Coalition and all of its supporting agencies is to delay certain premium increases put forth in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reformation Act for four years. The delay will allow FEMA to complete an affordability study and Congress to address problems with mapping, acturarial calculations and other implementation issues.
“The insurance rate increases are unaffordable and will create a ripple effect detrimental to communities and their tax base for school systems, fire departments and police departments,” said Parish President Robottom. “We support rate increases that will allow continuation of the flood insurance program, but the proposed rates are unacceptable for working class families.”
Numerous meetings were held with Louisiana representatives in Washington, D.C., Coalition members in 32 states and many national associations and there is optimism that the Senate will support the delay. However, some of the proposed amendments to the bill are unfavorable and are inconsistent with the Coalition's message.
Updates will be provided following the Senate vote.