U. S. House Inaction Is Stalling Flood Insurance Rate Relief
Despite the U.S. Senate’s passage of legislation to delay massive federal flood insurance rate increases, the House’s persistent refusal to act on the bill continues to bash the real estate market throughout the Tampa and St. Petersburg area and around the state.
So, we continue to urge readers to contact our elected officials, especially our U.S. Representatives, and urge them to pass the measure as quickly as possible to stop weakening the real estate market recovery. Simply click the links below and express your support for the legislation.
While House Stalls On Flood Insurance Rate Relief, Effort Is Underway to Bolster Private Flood Insurance
While the U.S. House languishes in inaction, Florida State Sen. Jeff. Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, is spearheading efforts to make it easier for private insurance companies to get into the residential flood insurance business. According to Brandes, opening the flood insurance market, even to companies who are not subject to normal state controls, could result in lower rates and broader options than what the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) offers through its National Flood Insurance Program.
Creating alternatives to the burgeoning costs for flood insurance FEMA is now forced to impose as the result of a 2012 Congressional mandate sounds like a good idea. Privatization may result in lower costs than what the feds are currently offering, and consumers may well have more flexibility in the coverage they purchase, but at what cost?
Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice – “This Is A High Risk Plan”
Detert says lower costs sound good, but a lower degree of consumer protection does not. She’s concerned that consumers may not fully research and understand the limitations of less expensive flood coverage from less regulated insurers, and end up taking on more risk than they realize or may be able to afford. While she’s not against the idea of giving the open market a shot at insuring low-lying homes, she wants to ensure that consumers know exactly what they’re getting into before they sign on the dotted line.
As a result, Sen. Brandes has temporarily suspended his efforts, but says he and others are reworking his legislation to include greater consumer protection measures.
We respect Sen. Brandes’ efforts, but are confident in the knowledge that passage of his legislation could take some time, perhaps a very long time. In the meantime, our local and state real estate markets continue to stagnate under the weight of declining property values and exorbitant flood insurance rates, all thanks to a bipartisan lack of foresight compliments of the U. S. Congress class of 2012.
PLEASE ACT NOW!
Contact your senator and representatives and tell them to give a break to the Florida economy, and the home owners here who pay a majority of the fed’s nationwide flood insurance premiums.