The Flood Insurance Reform Debacle, Biggert- Waters 2012 is the Talk of the Town
Last evening we attended the annual neighborhood holiday party which normally is a time of good cheer and an opportunity to visit with our neighbors to catch-up on their families and community news. This year was a little different. The one conversation everyone was having was the unconceivable flood premiums hitting folk’s mailboxes as a result of the Biggert-Waters 2012 Flood Reform Act. Our street is basically an island with water on all four sides. So everyone is affected as are many other communities across Florida including many non-water front homes in flood zones. Yep, flood insurance and what the federal government has done to all the folks across the nation that are required to have flood insurance is one hot topic.
People are not only mad, but also outraged about this legislation. Folks were talking about article in the Tampa Bay Times this week where a couple who purchased a home after the effective date of the Waters-Biggert bill went into effect which resulted in them getting a $44,000.00 premium notice for a house that they just purchased. This will likely cause them to lose their home, as this outrageous flood premium was not disclosed to them and certainly not in their budget.
The Tampa Bay Times also ran a column this week where the author likens the new flood premiums to price gouging. Seems the Florida legislature a few years back passed a law that following a declared emergency, folks price gouging would be arrested and given some jail time. Not so with the federal government, once the Congress passes a law, look out!
Will this mess that Congress caused with this very ill advised legislation get fixed? I doubt it as we have seen this Congress is simply too dysfunctional!
But guess what else was talked about at the party? Those who can, (which means they have no mortgage) are dropping their flood insurance and self-insuring. Others are talking about putting pressure on state and local officials to drop out of the NFIP. You can bet that homeowners all over the country who are going to be devastated by this “flood reform” act are having the same conservations. As has been pointed out in many articles in the media, Florida is actually a donor state to NFIP. That is to say we donate more money into the program than is paid out in claims in this state. If homeowners begin to drop out of this program, it will likely send a chill to the folks in Washington.
Stay tuned; if you mess with the citizens of this great country, history has shown they know how to send the political types packing. Let us know what you think.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issues, please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or loss assessor experts.