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House Passes Flood Insurance Reform


BRADENTON – The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday that would provide immediate relief to hundreds of thousands of Floridians faced with rate hikes for their flood insurance premiums. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370), which passed 306-91, would also help to provide long-term certainty to the real estate market.


Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) called for swift action by the Senate.

“I hope the Senate will quickly adopt this critical legislation, which has been endorsed by a broad coalition of homeowners, realtors, homebuilders and bankers,” said Buchanan in a release.

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act would:

  • allow homeowners to pass on government-subsidized premiums to people trying to buy their homes instead of requiring purchasers to immediately pay full-risk rates
  • limit rate increases to no more than 15 percent a year.  By comparison the Senate bill allows rate increases up to 20 percent a year
  • give primary homeowners the option to keep the policy assigned to them at the time of construction, regardless of new elevation determinations following remapping
  • provide relief to those who have bought homes since Biggert Waters was enacted in July of 2012 by retroactively providing a refund or credit from their insurer
  • provide affordability measures such as monthly installment payments, high deductible options and the removal of the funding cap for the affordability study

Greg Owens, President-elect of the Manatee Association of Realtors, praised the House measure saying, “We support the House bill which slows down these rate hikes and provides a much-needed long term solution.”

Peter Crowley, President of the Sarasota Association of Realtors, also expressed support for the House bill saying “without some type of new legislation, the continued increase in flood insurance premiums will have a serious negative impact on home sales in Sarasota County as well as the entire state of Florida.  The Sarasota Association of Realtors applauds Congressman Vern Buchanan for his support of this extremely important piece of legislation.”

Earlier this month, FEMA announced that flood insurance premium increases will be delayed nearly two years – and possibly longer – for most policyholders in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. These delayed rates could affect 78,812 policyholders out of 109,273 total NFIP policyholders in Florida’s 16th District – those homeowners who, due to remapping, find themselves below elevation and facing increased premiums.

“Today’s bill is a victory for thousands of struggling homeowners in Sarasota and Manatee Counties,” said Buchanan, noting that Florida has more federally backed policies than any state.  “As co-chair of Florida’s congressional delegation, I have consistently pushed for a long-term solution that treated homeowners fairly and overturned these absurdly high rate increases.  Today’s legislation accomplishes that goal.” 


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