Congress Delays Flood Insurance Rate Jump - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Congress Delays Flood Insurance Rate Jump

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A deal reached in Congress this week would delay implementation of new, higher flood insurance rates across the nation.

The agreement would mean millions of homeowners with federal flood insurance could avoid the huge rate increases that were foreseen in the new Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

Recent major disasters have resulted in payout's on flood insurance out-pacing income from insurance premiums by billions of dollars.

The reform act was designed to make the federal flood insurance program more self-sustaining through sometimes-gigantic increases in insurance premiums.

The deal reached among members of both houses of Congress would delay the higher rates by at least two years and perhaps even longer.

North Dakota Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven are sponsors of the legislation to delay the rate increases while FEMA studies the affordability issues.

The two senators say they are happy their Flood Safe Basements Act was included - it ensures homeowners credit for flood-proofed basements in setting rates.

(Sen. John Hoeven) "Bottom line is, FEMA needs to make sure they show us how they are going to adjust premiums before they raise premiums and so we have asked for a two year delay so they do that study, we get it right and make sure flood insurance is affordable for all of our home owners."

There's no date scheduled for Congress to vote on the delay in flood insurance rate increases.

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