Coastal residents throughout the U.S. cheered Congressional passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act last week, which rolls back dramatic flood insurance rate hikes resulting from the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. With President Obama’s signature on Friday, the HFIA Act caps insurance rate increases at 18 percent per year, compared to the 3,000-percent increases predicted due to Biggert-Waters, and reinstates “grandfathering” for homes and businesses built before federal flood maps were issued. This grandfathering retains subsidized rates for these older structures and allows these rates to transfer to new owners if the structure is sold.
As part of a new Flood Insurance Reform Coalition (FIRC), North Lafourche Levee District President Cory Kief and Exeutive Director Dwayne Bourgeois have worked with other local officials for the past several months to push Congress for a fix to the disastrous flood insurance rate increases. Bourgeois says catastrophic hurricanes such as Sandy and Katrina, blamed for much of the insurance program’s debt, are rare.
“Congress should find other ways to keep the insurance program financially solvent instead of making policies unaffordable for home and business owners who have played by the rules all along,” Bourgeois says.
He and the coalition now set their sites on the re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 2017.
“We are certainly pleased to have the relief provided by the HFIA Act, but this challenge is not over. It is imperative for all of the 500,000 flood insurance policyholders in Louisiana that the national flood insurance program be sound and affordable for residents in the decades ahead. Our economic stability and the future of our communities depend on it,” explains Bourgeois.
For more on the NFIP, visit NorthLafourcheLevee.com.