Hoeven: New House Flood Insurance Legislation Gives Relief to Homeowners, Businesses

Measure Includes Hoeven-Heitkamp-Cramer Basement Exception

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a bill that will hold the line on flood insurance premium costs for homeowners and businesses. The measure also includes the Hoeven-Heitkamp-Cramer basement exception, which enables homeowners to receive credit for flood proofed basements when determining flood insurance rates.

Like the Senate bill, the House bill prevents the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from steeply raising rates and keeps rates affordable for homeowners and business. Also like the Senate bill, the House requires FEMA to conduct an affordability study and report to Congress within 18 months.

“Both the House and the Senate bills achieve the very important results of making sure flood insurance remains affordable for and accessible to those who need it, but also recognizes that the National Flood Insurance Program needs to be solvent for the future,” Hoeven said. “The bill passed by the House, like the Senate bill, works to maintain reasonable premium rates, and with the inclusion of our amendment, also makes sure people get credit for the work they’ve already done to protect their basements.”

Key provisions of the House bill are as follows:

  • Reinstates grandfathered rates. Removal of this provision ensures that policyholders are not penalized who built to code and to standards of existing Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
  • Removes home sale/new policy rate-increase trigger for homes and businesses.
  • Caps premium increases to ensure that the federally run insurance program cannot raise premiums on individual properties by more than 18 percent annually. The increase would be based on the historical premium rates rather than the recent increased rates, which is completely different than the way FEMA has implemented Biggert-Waters.
  • Authorizes annual surcharge of $25 for primary residences and $250 for second homes and businesses to help pay for the program.