Bilirakis, Jolly Move to Protect Florida Homeowners from Soaring Flood Insurance Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) have introduced legislation to protect Florida homeowners from impending increases in flood insurance rates. The Flood Insurance Rate Increase Suspension Act (H.R. 4866), which was filed on March 24 by the bay area Republicans, would delay any increase in flood insurance premium rates for certain properties for 12 months.

“The goal of previous reform measures was to create a market for more competitive rates, and in fact lower rates based on improved mapping and improved data. Unfortunately, the FEMA re-mapping process remains ongoing and government data on properties is still not fully being provided to private insurers who could write policies to compete with the National Flood Insurance Program,” Jolly said. “Homeowners should not be subjected to a price increase for flood insurance simply because the federal government hasn’t honored its job to create a more competitive market,” Jolly added.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the plight of homeowners and businesses who were victims of flooding in my district,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “These people need our support and protection. My constituents deserve continued access to affordable flood insurance and we must ensure that the National Flood Insurance Program conducts its rate calculations through an open and transparent process. This legislation will prevent unnecessary price increases that would impact thousands of individuals and families while Congress works on a permanent solution to the problem. We need to keep insurance rates affordable to protect those who need it most.”

Without action, rates under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are scheduled to go up on April 1.

In addition to the Flood Insurance Rate Increase Suspension Act, Jolly is exploring options to use his position on the House Appropriations Committee to stop this scheduled rate increase through the annual federal appropriations process.

“We need a comprehensive long-term plan that protects homeowners and businesses. The reality is there are a number of possible solutions, but the challenge is mustering the political will of the Congress. Left unchecked, soaring flood insurance rates could cripple our economy and dramatically impact thousands of Florida families,” Jolly added.

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