Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) voted for the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act (HR 5114) on July 15. The bill passed the House by a vote of 329-90. The bill reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program for five years, and makes needed reforms to address the financial stability of the program by phasing out nonessential premium subsidies. The bill also raises the maximum coverage limits for the first time since 1994.
The legislation includes two provisions strongly advocated by Capps that will help homeowners on the central and south coasts. The first gives all newly mapped areas a five-year period before mandatory purchase requirements go into effect to allow time to get flood protections up to standards. The second requires the phasing in of mandatory insurance rates. This will help communities on the central and south coasts deal with the economic effects of flood remapping in a responsible way.
“I am very pleased that my concerns for newly mapped areas were addressed and mandatory purchase requirements will be delayed by five years, giving Central and South Coast residents adequate time to adapt to new flood maps. Our goal with this legislation is to allow time to make upgrades to the levees and bring them into compliance, thereby eliminating the need for a mandatory requirement for homeowners to purchase flood insurance. The bill also assists homeowners that will be impacted by the remapping process, especially low-income families. We must make sure any changes to flood maps in our watersheds are accurate, follow consistent federal policies, and allow local officials time to develop long-term solutions to a very serious public safety issue,” said Capps.
The Flood Insurance Reform Act has been endorsed by numerous organizations, including the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Homebuilders, the American Insurance Association, the Property Casualty Insurers Association, and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.