National Flood Insurance Program Update

In 2012, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (“the Act”) was enacted. The goal of this legislation was to stabilize and revise the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Provisions of the Act will roll out in stages, including some that have already occurred. On October 1, one portion of the Act went into effect which would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to remove flood insurance subsidies for certain properties across the country.

Unfortunately, some of the flooding zones were inaccurately tagged so many areas are misrepresented on flood maps used by insurance companies. This has resulted in serious cause for concern by property owners because premiums increased at drastic rates without consistency among insurance providers. One of the Act's co-authors, Representative Maxine Waters, says “inaccurate mapping” and “incomplete data [have] led to unreasonable and unimaginable increases in premiums.”

Although the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act significantly impacts flood hazard areas, the law poses great risk to property ownership.CCIM Institute is concerned with the significant rate increases impacting members who manage or own multifamily residential and commercial properties.

Legislation titled the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” (S. 1610 / H.R. 3370) has been introduced to address the exorbitant premium rate increases.The legislation would delay the rate increases sparked by the Biggert-Waters Act to allow FEMA time to provide accurate flood maps and to complete an affordability study that would look at the impact of the new rate structure.

The Affordability Act has garnered wide bipartisan support with H.R. 3370 having 138 cosponsors and the senate companion bill, S. 1610, having 23 cosponsors, as of November 21.

If you have experienced significant rate increases since 2012, please contact the government affairs department at legislative-affairs@ccim.com.