The Flood Insurance Reform Impact

by MAR Staff | Oct 29, 2013

In response to REALTORS® and homeowners in Massachusetts and across the country who are dealing with the impact of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, of which relevant provisions are effective October 1, 2013, MAR and the National Association are working with state and national agencies to both inform members and advocate for a delay to homeowner rate hikes.

NAR, along with help from MAR and many other local and state associations throughout the country, has been working with Congress to pass a bill to delay and alleviate some of the impacts of the changes to the flood insurance program. To fuel the debate, REALTORS® and homeowners have been  asked to provide examples of how these potential rate increases and redrawn flood maps are hurting homeowners and the market.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a government program that provides flood insurance coverage to homeowners and businesses, for five years. The Act also requires significant program reform, including phasing out  subsidized flood insurance rates and redesigning the rate structure so that the premium structure more adequately reflects the true risks and costs of flooding. For those who own properties located in flood-prone areas, homeowners may see a 25% increase in premium rates each year until premiums reflect full risk rates.

MAR held a comprehensive and informative panel on Flood Insurance on October 7 at its recent Conference in Falmouth. Hundreds of REALTOR® members heard from officials at FEMA and the NFIP as well as a policy expert from the National Association of REALTORS® and an insurance specialist on flood insurance.

The outstanding Flood Panel presented to over 600 Realtors at the Conference & Tradeshow. Panel members included: Thomas Young, Manager, National Flood Insurance Program for Region 1; Russell Riggs, Senior Regulatory Representative, National Association of REALTORS®; Richard Zingarelli, National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator & State Hazard Mitigation Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; and, John Gilligan, from Rogers & Gray Insurance.