Massachusetts Delegation Proposes Fixes to National Flood Insurance Reform Act
Markey leads lawmakers' call for adequate funding, delays in implementation to avoid potential dramatic increases in insurance premiums
Washington (September 25, 2013) - Today, the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation sent letters to House and Senate leadership calling for immediate remedies to the consequences of implementation of the BiggertWaters National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 to avoid potential dramatic increases in home and business owner insurance premiums. Specifically, the lawmakers call for adequate funding for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to complete the affordability study mandated by the law, and a delay in the immediate premium rate increases required by the legislation for small businesses and for sales of residential properties in order for any recommendations that result from the NAS study be incorporated into future planning.
"While we support the overall goals of this legislation, we are concerned that if it is fully implemented absent additional measures, some residents and small businesses located in Massachusetts may be faced with economically devastating impacts," write the lawmakers. "Reports from residents and businesses in Massachusetts have described the potential for dramatic and completely unaffordable flood insurance premium increases as FEMA has moved forward to implement the law."
The delegation asked that additional steps be taken as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues with implementation of the law, including a legislative remedy for any affordability challenges that flood insurance premium increases might pose to home and business owners; flood maps that are accurate and reflect the input of impacted communities, and improved outreach by FEMA to impacted communities of status under any new flood maps that are developed, including the opportunity for residents to dispute any changes.
A copy of the delegation letter can be found HERE . The letter, which was organized by Senator Edward J. Markey, was signed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Reps. Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch, John Tierney, Niki Tsongas, Bill Keating, and Joe Kennedy.