WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) praised bipartisan action by the Senate to provide relief from pending spikes premiums for federal flood insurance required by the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. H.R. 3370 passed the Senate 72-22 Thursday. On March 4, it was approved by the House 306-91.
“Working together, the Senate took needed action to slow down and limit the unconscionable rate increases for federal flood insurance, which would have been unaffordable for many homeowners and made it more difficult to sell homes on the market. The legislation caps annual premium increases and grandfathers certain properties into their original flood risk zones and rates. The legislation also improves the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) process for remapping of flood zones, requiring greater community input and affordability studies. Congress must continue to work with FEMA to ensure both the affordability of flood insurance and the long-term solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program.”
According to a 2005 report of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), more than 12% of Maryland has been designated by the National Flood Insurance Program as a Special Flood Hazard Area, and an estimated 68,000 homes and buildings are located within the state’s floodplain.