FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Supports House Passage of Bill to Mitigate Sharp Flood Insurance Rate Hikes
Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2014)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today said it supports today’s House vote to advance ICBA-advocated bipartisan legislation to protect homeowners from significant increases in flood insurance premiums, which began being phased in on Oct. 1. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370), introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), would prevent sharp flood insurance rate hikes while ensuring the actuarial soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program.
“ICBA strongly supports today’s House vote to protect homeowners and communities nationwide from much higher National Flood Insurance Program premiums,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “Unless current law changes, sharp flood insurance rate hikes under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 would make flood insurance unaffordable for many policyholders who built to code and followed the law every step of the way. The House bill approved today would stop these devastating rate increases and avoid further instability in our nation’s still-recovering housing market.”
Among its provisions, H.R. 3370 would:
- reinstate grandfathered status for covered properties,
- repeal the home-sale and new-policy rate-increase triggers,
- provide a refund for people who have realized large premium increases due to the purchase of a pre-FIRM subsidized home without the full transparency from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as to the new rate structure, and
- require FEMA to complete an affordability study and to propose an affordability framework to help homeowners cope with dramatically higher premiums.
ICBA has worked closely with the House and Senate to mitigate these dramatic rate increases and implement a comprehensive fix. Community bankers nationwide continue urging their lawmakers to act promptly to resolve this issue.
For more information, visit www.icba.org.
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.