The Senate passed legislation Today that will prevent Highlands homeowners from potentially facing big flood insurance premium increases for the next several years. The bipartisan legislation passed with a vote of 67 to 32.
The bill delays for up to four years flood insurance premium increases that are supposed to phase in next year and beyond under new and updated government flood maps. It also would allow homeowners to pass below-cost policies on to people who buy their homes.
People who have recently bought homes and face sharp, immediate jumps in their premiums would see those increases rolled back.
Home owners were facing rates hikes that, once phased in, they probably wouldn’t be able to afford, and because of those higher insurance rates, they also would face having to sell their properties at distressed prices.
Unfortunately the bill contains no relief for owners of second homes and who still face annual 25 percent increases – provided they owned their home before Congress overhauled the program in 2012. They say the premium hikes threaten the viability of older beachfront towns.
The Biggert Waters bill also phases out below-market rates for owners of grandfathered properties – those that were built in compliance with earlier flood risk estimates but whose risks have increased under new maps.