U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-La.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) Thursday sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) Administrator Craig Fugate requesting a meeting to discuss a plan to implement the recently passed flood insurance reform law and reinstating rates as Congress intended. The Senators want Fugate to explain why property owners continue to be charged higher flood insurance rates, despite a bipartisan law in March to protect them from such unaffordable premium costs.
“Are you kidding us?” Vitter said. “It’s been nearly a month since we’ve passed the law and F.E.M.A. has done virtually nothing to protect flood insurance policy holders. F.E.M.A. needs to take action immediately because if policies lapse, people could literally lose their homes – a risk that new rates would protect against.”
“On behalf of our constituents, we want to know why the Obama administration continues to uphold unaffordable flood insurance premiums that Congress expressly overturned. This is not fair and any foot dragging by F.E.M.A. to implement the new law is unacceptable,” Cochran said.
“The reason we worked so hard to pass our legislation was that people were enduring the hardship of higher premiums,” Hoeven said. “F.E.M.A. should be implementing the new law now for the very same reason – people are enduring the hardship of higher premiums, but they shouldn’t be because we’ve already passed a law to reduce their high rates.”
On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed into law the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act,” which permanently reinstates grandfathering and protects against unaffordable rate increases. Since then, the Senators have learned that F.E.M.A. continues to charge participants in the National Flood Insurance Program (N.F.I.P.) with increased rates the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.