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U.S. Senate Votes to Delay Increases in Flood Insurance Premiums

The bill would delay proposed changes to flood maps that could result in sky-high hikes for residents in flood prone areas.

Patch File photo
Patch File photo
New Jersey residents in flood-prone areas get a reprieve on paying higher insurance premiums following a vote Thursday in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate voted to delay changes under new government flood maps enacted two years ago that would result in sky high insurance rates by a vote of 67-32, the Associated Press reports.

The changes are scheduled to be take effect beginning next year, but the bill would delay their implementation by four years, according to the report. It would allow homeowners the opportunity to pass on below cost policies when selling their homes.

“I applaud my colleagues in the United States Senate for passing this bipartisan piece of legislation that is so critical to the people of South Jersey,” Congressman Jon Runyan said in a prepared statement. “We are more than a year removed from Superstorm Sandy, but I know for a fact that people are still struggling to rebuild their homes, their businesses, and their lives. I urge Speaker Boehner and House leadership to bring this bill to the floor of the House of Representatives so that families in South Jersey are not hit with yet another increase that they cannot afford.”

Runyan sponsored H.R. 3370, which served as the template for the Senate bill, S 1846. Both are known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013.

Those who oppose the bill claim it nullifies reforms of the Flood Insurance Program. The program has benefitted from many taxpayer bailouts and owes the Department of the Treasury $24 billion, according to the report.

Insurance premiums are a concern in areas hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, including Ocean City and homes along the Jersey Shore.

The issue now goes before the House of Representatives.

Oceanpity January 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM
I feel sorry for all those home owners that bailed right after Sandy. I suspect they dumped their properties. Does anyone know for sure?

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