Across the country, many Americans have been affected by rising costs as a result of increases in flood insurance coverage specifically, and a large number of these homeowners are upset about the fact that these changes could cost them thousands of dollars more per year. To that end, the U.S. Senate recently passed a bill that would help to keep such costs down going forward, and this is something insurance agents will certainly have to keep in mind.
The Menendez-Isakson Flood Insurance Affordability Act recently passed the Senate with a 67-32 vote, and is slated to freeze federal flood insurance rate increases, according to a report from the office of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat representing New Jersey who originally introduced the legislation on the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall. Under the law, no changes could be made to flood insurance levels until such time as the Federal Emergency Management Agency can conduct a study about the ways in which affordability can be maximized.
“At a time when ordinary families are frustrated because government doesn’t seem to listen, I heard you loud and clear and thankfully both sides of the aisle came together to fix this problem so middle class families can afford flood insurance and stay in their homes, businesses can stay open, and property values won’t plummet,” said Sen. Menendez. “This fight isn’t just about insurance-rate-tables and actuarial risk rates – it’s all about hardworking people. People who played by the rules their whole lives and are now facing a life altering event they never could have prepared or planned for.”
In addition to preventing rate increases, the law would also ensure that those holding flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program whose property values have dropped as a result of the government redrawing flood maps, the report said. Those people could face adverse conditions when trying to sell their properties because many prospective buyers may be turned off by the stark increases in insurance costs they may face.
Insurance agents will certainly have to stay apprised of all changes to the regulatory environment in their industries going forward, especially because many experts predict that a large number of alterations to the ways in which companies do business will come down the pike within the next few years. The more information agents have, the better prepared they may be to answer any questions clients may have, or handle potential rule changes.