Hoeven: Bill to Avert Flood Insurance Rate Increases, Retain Basement Exception Provision Pending in Senate

Senator Holds Flood Insurance Update in Grafton

GRAFTON, N.D. - Senator John Hoeven today told a gathering of community and business leaders in Grafton that the first piece of legislation the Senate plans to take up when it returns on January 27 is a bill he is cosponsoring that would delay scheduled increases in flood insurance premiums. Also included in the legislation is the Hoeven-Heitkamp Flood Safe Basements Act, a measure Hoeven authored to make sure homeowners receive credit for floodproofed basements when flood insurance rates are determined.

Hoeven and a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act in October. The legislation will prevent the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from steeply increasing flood insurance rates before it studies the impact of raising rates on policy holders. The measure will help ensure affordable premiums for millions of Americans, including the residents and business owners of Grafton.

“The people of Grafton are working hard to protect their community from flooding, but like people across North Dakota and the country, they need fair and affordable flood insurance rates,” Hoeven said. “Our bill requires FEMA to complete an affordability study to help preserve affordable flood insurance premiums, as well as an important provision I authored that ensures communities like Grafton are able to continue using floodproofed basement credits to determine their premiums.”

Hoeven has been working directly with FEMA to ensure that the agency maintains the current Base Flood Elevation insurance rating method that determines insurance rates by evaluating the lowest proofed opening in a home rather than the lowest floor, or basement approach. Fourteen North Dakota communities, including Grafton, are currently approved for the residential basement floodproofed rating credit, as well as 40 additional communities across the country.