Homeowners Rights & Issues

Sen. Landrieu says President Obama commits to signing bill to delay flood insurance premium hikes

WASHINGTON — For about seven minutes Wednesday, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she got President Barack Obama to engage on what she says are the unaffordable flood insurance premiums facing hundreds of thousands of homeowners in Louisiana and other states.

Landrieu asked the president directly about legislation that passed the Senate last week 67-32 that would delay most of the premium increases for four years.

“The bottom line,” Landrieu said, “is that he confirmed in front of all the Senate Democrats — all but one of whom voted for the legislation — that he would not veto the bill and that he understood how important it was to all of us to get it through.”

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Questions still on whether state can cut flood insurance costs

TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Jeff Brandes says he wants to put consumers in control, but there’s still no guarantee a bill he introduced would bring down the cost of flood insurance.

It may be homeowners’ best hope, though, in a world where some are being told their flood insurance bill could rise from $4,000 to $40,000 a year.

The St. Petersburg Republican’s measure (SB 542) was approved unanimously by its latest review panel on Thursday, despite concerns raised by Democrats and Republicans during more than an hour of discussion by the General Government Appropriations subcommittee.

 The bill’s intent is to allow more private insurers to write home flood insurance policies in Florida. State lawmakers are acting after Congress failed to bring down flood insurance premium increases in the National Flood Insurance Program.

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These House members rejected a chance to help on flood insurance

Call it a political stunt. Call it a legislative long shot.

Call it whatever you wish, but for the past two days a parade of U.S. representatives have stood on the House floor and pleaded on behalf of procedural maneuvers that might have led to a quick vote on a Senate proposal for flood insurance relief.

On both afternoons, the attempts were squashed.

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Editorial: Flood insurance bill a step in right direction

It is not perfect, and it is far from ideal for Florida’s real estate market. But the bipartisan flood insurance fix passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday is far preferable to the status quo, provides temporary relief for thousands of Tampa Bay homeowners and should be approved by the House. It’s the least members of Congress can do after passing flood insurance “reforms” in 2012 with no understanding of the unreasonable financial pain they would inflict on middle-class neighborhoods.

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U.S. Senate expected to vote today to delay flood insurance rate hikes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday afternoon will vote on a bill that would reverse a 2012 law that forced steep increases in flood insurance rates for homeowners in Florida, Louisiana and other states.

The vote is expected at 1:50 p.m., and supporters hope it will pass by a large enough measure to send a message to the House, where Republican leaders have said they will not take up the bill.

“Now the question is, what happens down there?” Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, said during debate Wednesday, motioning to the House.

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White House Balks at Flood Insurance Delay, Agent Licensing Bill

The Obama Administration has problems with the Senate bill that would delay flood insurance premium increases and create an agent licensing registry.

The bill, S.1926, was cleared for debate on a procedural vote, 86-13, Monday evening. It has more than 30 sponsors from both parties in the Senate. Lead sponsors are Sen. Robert Menendez, D.-N.J., and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R.-Ga.

If it passes the Senate, the flood insurance reform delay faces an uphill battle in the House where leadership has said it opposes the delay.

Now the bill also faces criticism from the White House, although the statement yesterday from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stopped short of threatening a veto.

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Senate votes to advance flood insurance bill

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to advance legislation that would delay increases in flood insurance premiums for about four years, until lawmakers can consider how to make the increases affordable.

Members of Congress have received hundreds of complaints from policyholders with the National Flood Insurance Program since their rates increased Oct. 1 as part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

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Key flood insurance vote expected today

A long-delayed vote on legislative measures that would delay steep flood insurance premium increases is expected to take place today. Scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. vote, the Senate bill would put off rate increases until two years after FEMA completes an affordability study—a process expected to take an additional two years.

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House Speaker Boehner says House won’t take up bill on 4-year delay in flood insurance increases, but more modest change possible

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that the Republican-controlled House will not take up legislation to delay most flood insurance premium increases for four years.

“We’re not going to do that,” Boehner, R-Ohio,told the Associated Press in a hallway interview. But he said he’s willing to consider more modest, unspecified changes in the national flood insurance program resulting from the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act.

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Congress agrees to incremental flood insurance fix

WASHINGTON – Jan. 15, 2014 – An omnibus budget bill expected to pass Congress and become law includes language that offers a bit of flood insurance relief for some homeowners, and a ray of hope for all owners impacted by rapidly rising premiums for flood policies issued under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Because the current change is part of a largely bipartisan budget bill, it’s expected to pass the House and Senate, and be signed into law by Pres. Obama.

The law doesn’t help anyone trying to sell a flood-zone home. In those cases, a buyer must immediately pay the higher actuarial rate for flood coverage, forcing some owners to sell for less or making a sale impossible.

The law does help some current flood policy homeowners – owners of older homes built to code at the time of construction who voluntarily bought flood insurance.

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