The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed by President Obama in March 21, 2014. National Flood Insurance Program policy holders are now seeing rate adjustments that result from this legislation.

Lee County joined Southwest Florida municipalities and nationwide governments, chambers of commerce and other groups to urge Congress to pass this act, which amended the earlier Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. That legislation dramatically increased the cost of flood insurance to many policy holders.

As a result of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, NFIP policy holders may experience:

  • Annual rate increases of up to 18-25 percent.
  • Refunds to homeowners who paid the higher rates established under Biggert-Waters after October 2013.

The Affordability Act also:

  • Repealed Biggert-Waters provisions that would have required full-risk rates for PreFIRM structures and would have terminated discounts for properties built to comply with flood maps that FEMA later updated.
  • Requires FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums that exceed 1 percent of the total coverage provided by the policy.
  • Allows FEMA to use the National Flood Insurance Fund to reimburse policyholders and communities for successful map appeals.
  • Establishes a Flood Insurance Advocate within FEMA.
  • Requires FEMA to certify that its mapping process is technologically advanced and to notify and justify to communities that the mapping model it uses are appropriate.

Approximately 8,000 policy holders in Lee County may see some impact from this legislation. Policy holders are urged to contact their flood insurance agent to determine the exact impact on their policy premium and coverage.

Flood mapping quick links:

Learn more about these Flood Insurance topics: