Realtors to Congress: Hit the pause button on changes to flood program


Realtors to Congress: Hit the pause button on changes to flood program

Realtors to Congress: Hit the pause button on changes to flood program

WASHINGTON – Nov. 19, 2013 – Realtors®: Take two minutes today to add your name to a petition to delay implementation of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Passage of the Biggert-Waters Act, which extended and changed NFIP, was premature and negatively impacted real estate transactions where flood insurance is required to obtain a mortgage.

At the request of Florida Realtors and Realtor associations around the country, the National Association of Realtors today issued a Call For Action asking for a four-year time out.

Congress has legislation in the House (H.R. 3370) and Senate (S. 2620) to:
• defer rate increases until FEMA completes the affordability study mandated by law
• create a system for targeted rate relief
• establish an office of the Advocate for flood insurance rate and mapping concerns

Please respond to the Call to Action below and ask fellow Realtors to do so as well.

Realtor Call for Action: Flood Insurance Issues Could Sink Your Sales

In related news, Miami broker Moe Veissi, 2012 president of NAR and 2002 president of Florida Realtors, testified this afternoon on the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. “Only the first round of rate changes have taken effect and already, property owners and Realtors across the country are reporting dramatic increases well beyond what was imagined and certainly beyond Congressional intent,” Veissi testified.

He said homebuyers were not warned of rate increases before purchasing their properties. Flood insurance policies are not labeled as “subsidized,” and many homebuyers did not learn of the increase until opening the policy’s renewal notice.

“Cost is not the only issue,” Veissi continued. “Each property should have only one rate. Insurance agents should be quoting a single rate based on FEMA-issued guidelines. Yet many of the Realtor reports involve multiple rate quotes for a single property.”

Veissi testified that many of the rate quotes appear to be based on arcane procedures that require individual judgments for properties that are two or more feet below base flood elevation. “There is no transparency in the calculations,” he said. “The quotes issued do not contain enough information to reproduce the estimates. This should be addressed.”

For more on the Biggert-Waters Act and other flood insurance resources, check out Florida Realtors Flood Insurance Toolkit.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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