Homeowners worried that new federal flood maps will send their flood insurance premiums skyrocketing would get some short-term relief under a provision tucked into a massive government-wide funding bill.
But other changes to the federal flood insurance program, including higher premiums on businesses, vacation homes and frequently flooded properties will remain in place, as well as a new rule blocking homeowners from passing insurance subsidies on to the people who buy their homes.
How will this affect the value of your home? Contact the real estate appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; they have certified FEMA inspectors on staff.
The provision is authored by Louisiana lawmakers and political rivals – Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy – and comes as the Senate is poised to debate much broader relief to homeowners facing higher premiums. Cassidy is running for the GOP nod to take on Landrieu this year.
The move comes as the government is beginning to implement a significant overhaul of the much-criticized program. That overhaul passed in 2012 with sweeping support from both liberals and tea party conservatives but has caused a panic in places like Staten Island, N.Y., and the New Jersey coast and in flood-prone areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, where higher rates threaten to push some people out of their homes.
The practical effect of the Cassidy-Landrieu provision is relatively limited and can be added to the spending bill only because it does not increase the budget deficit. It blocks the Federal Emergency Management Agency from increasing premiums on people whose homes are not currently considered to be in a flood zone but are deemed to be flood prone under new FEMA maps.
FEMA has already agreed to delay the higher premiums in response to criticism that the new flood maps didn’t take into account longstanding locally built levees and other flood mitigation steps and that the premium increases are in many cases unaffordable.
read more at: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/01/16/242979.htm
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