The subject of flood insurance has been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the fact that many Americans are likely to face significantly increased costs for this type of home insurance over the coming years as the National Flood Insurance Program is overhauled. However, on a state and federal level, many legislators are working to ensure that their constituents don’t end up paying thousands of dollars more per year for the same coverage, and that is something insurance agents will have to keep close tabs on going forward.
Now, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have once again changed the flood insurance bill that has grabbed headlines for weeks, in an attempt to make the legislation more palatable to lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, according to a report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. While the bill was submitted late last week, Democrats are reportedly still trying to hammer out a few modifications.
“We are working the language through the Senate to make sure there are no issues,” Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat representing New Orleans, told the newspaper. “When we reach a deal the members at the negotiating table will all make an announcement.”
The particulars of the bill
While the U.S. Senate has already passed a flood insurance bill that would delay premium increases for four years, the latest version from the House would limit annual increases to 18 percent per year, the report said. Further, it would also mandate that the Federal Emergency Management Agency try to keep premiums on such policies as close to 1 percent of total coverage as possible. Democrats, meanwhile, want that cap to be not merely a suggestion, but an actual mandate. Whether that’s possible, though, remains up in the air for the time being.
If consumers are hit with significant increases in their flood insurance costs at any point in the next few years, they might have to start freeing up funds to pay for them by cutting back on other types of home insurance. Many may also go shopping for new coverage that will still fit their coverage needs, but also fit reasonably within their household budgets. As such, insurance agents will need to keep abreast of all aspects of these legislative machinations to make sure they are adequately prepared for whatever comes along.