Congress passes Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

The National Association of REALTORS® provided some analysis on the passing of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

On March 13, 2014, the United States Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370). The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. The new bill further reins in and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for the Biggert-Waters implementation issues.

As passed:

  • The bill repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase.
  • The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones.
  • Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House. NAR had urged a swift vote in the Senate.

For additional resources and information please visit the following links:

Read NAR’s letter of support for the bill

NAR Issue Brief: Flood Insurance Side by Side Comparison