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Congress Passes Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Bill


Last Friday, Congress passed the “Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012” which would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, until Sept. 30, 2017, and make needed reforms modernize the program. These include phasing out subsidies for many properties, raising the cap on annual premium increases from 10% to 20%, allowing multifamily properties to purchase NFIP policies, imposing minimum deductibles for flood claims, requiring the NFIP administrator to develop a plan for repaying the debt incurred from Hurricane Katrina, and establishing a technical mapping advisory council to deal with map modernization issues. The legislation would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the prospect of adding business interruption and additional living expenses coverages to the NFIP and would require the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to study and submit a report to Congress on natural disaster insurance issues and possible legislative solutions.

The bill was passed as part of a Conference Report package along with the Surface Transportation Act of 2012 and an extension of the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan program.
“Both the House and Senate should be commended,” said Charles Symington, Big “I” senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “This legislation has been a top priority of the Big ‘I’ for almost seven years, and we are very proud today that Congress has finally passed this balanced, bipartisan bill that will provide long-term protection for both consumers and taxpayers.”
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