BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisianians who own homes or businesses with government-backed mortgages in areas prone to flooding are required to have flood insurance.
But as premiums increase, some lawmakers are urging the federal government to lower flood insurance costs and become more transparent in detailing how prices are decided.
This week, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced two such bills: The Risk Rating 2.0 Transparency Act and the Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
The Risk Rating 2.0 Transparency Act would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to publish an online explanation of how it determines flood insurance prices under Risk Rating 2.0.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) cosponsored Kennedy’s bill. She issued a statement regarding its purpose, saying, “At a minimum, policyholders deserve to know exactly why their premiums cost as much as they do, especially when that rate is higher than previous years. From the start, FEMA has not been forthcoming with the public or Congress on how it developed the new flood insurance rate structure. This bill would ensure FEMA transparency surrounding Risk Rating 2.0, so homeowners aren’t left in the dark.”
Kennedy’s second bill, the Flood Insurance Affordability Act would limit annual flood insurance premium increases for primary resident homeowners under Risk Rating 2.0 from the current limit of 18 percent to nine percent.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) cosponsored the Flood Insurance Affordability Act and called it, “common sense,” after saying, “People shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to make sure they are protected. This legislation is common sense.”
According to Kennedy, “The Biden administration is refusing to show lawmakers the new algorithm it uses to raise flood insurance premiums. Since millions of Louisianians depend on the NFIP to protect their homes from natural disasters, FEMA must come clean about why premiums are skyrocketing under Risk Rating 2.0. In the meantime, my bills would ensure fairer
rates for the people of Louisiana.”