It’s not an April Fools’ joke; flood insurance premiums will begin to increase today. The increased premiums are happening now as part of the Flood Insurance Relief Bill that was signed last year in response to the increased flood premiums that were being sent to policyholders under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
In my post last week, I mentioned that the National Flood Insurance Program will implement certain changes which go into effect on June 1, 2014. The changes are primarily a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a summary of the changes in WYO Bulletin W-13070, dated December 16, 2013.
The National Flood Insurance Program will implement certain changes which go into effect on June 1, 2014. The changes are primarily as a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a summary of the changes in WYO Bulletin W-13070, dated December 16, 2013.1
Homeowners in many areas will be hit hard as flood insurance rates skyrocket as a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, and Pinellas County has approximately 50,000 properties targeted to lose the subsidized rates – more than any other county in the nation.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is facing a September 30th deadline. That is the date the temporary extension runs out on the Flood Program. Unless a bill that reauthorizes the program passes, the NFIP could expire. But this week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1309 (The Flood Insurance Reform Act) by an overwhelming majority.
The answer to the title question should be:
"Nobody should trust the government to conclusively determine anything."
The property insurance law news is that a Mississippi Senator has proposed federal legislation that would allow FEMA to determine the amount of wind damage versus flood damage an insured structure sustained when the issue arises. Anita Lee, of the Sun-Herald, reported on how this proposed system would work in Wicker Charts New Course for NFIP Changes:
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration would gather hurricane data from public and private sources. FEMA would use the data to apportion losses between wind and flood.
Elevation and construction materials for each property would be included in the assessment.
Any disputes that arose over a wind/water allocation would be resolved by a FEMA-appointed arbitration panel.
Lawsuits are prohibited. However, an insurance company and policyholder could, by agreement, opt out of an assessment.
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The U.S. Senate unanimously agreed on Tuesday night to approve a popular flood insurance program for a year, taking a crucial step to ensure the federally-backed program isn’t allowed to run out when it expires on Sept. 30.
The attempts by Mississippi’s Gene Taylor to craft an insurance product that fully covers hurricane losses seems to be having trouble, but not because Gene Taylor is not trying. While the House of Representatives passed a bill supported by Taylor which includes coverage for the perils of wind and storm surge into one policy, one Republican Senator offered a compromise bill which does not accomplish that but merely proposes a different method of dispute resolution. As reported in the National Underwriter, both Taylor and the insurance industry think the compromise legislation does not work.
Mississippi Representative Gene Taylor successfully placed language into House Bill H.R. 1264—“the Multiple Peril Insurance Act”— which would require “Write Your Own” insurers participating in the National Flood Program to remove anti-concurrent causation language from their all risk insurance policies. Taylor’s house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. Many of his neighbors’ insurance claims were denied based on the continuing wind versus flood insurance coverage controversy which I noted recently in Texas Windstorm Insurer Settles 2,400 Hurricane Ike Slab Claims.
The United States House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill reinstating and extending the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2010, according to an article in the National Underwriter, New NFIP Extension Bill Passes House; Senate Action Uncertain. The bill (H.R. 5569) will be sent to the Senate for further action. My suggestion in Flood Insurance is Harder to Find and Politics is One Reason was to call all Congressmen. Now we are down to just the Senators that need to get their act together.