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Senate passes bill to delay flood insurance increase

MEDIA RELEASE

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926), which U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz co-sponsored.

This bill will prevent aggressive flood insurance rate hikes until the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) examines how it can ensure affordable flood insurance for families and businesses.

It will also require that FEMA implement more accurate flood maps, reimburse homeowners for successful map appeals, and establish a Flood Insurance Advocate within FEMA to aid policyholders throughout this process.

“As an island state, Hawaii faces unique flood risks, and families should have access to affordable flood insurance,” Schatz said. “This bill is intended to provide relief and peace-of-mind for the tens of thousands of homeowners in our state who hold flood insurance policies.”

Specifically, this bill would delay implementation of certain flood insurance rate increases, provide targeted rate relief to policyholders until FEMA certifies that their maps are accurate and reliable, allocate funds to reimburse homeowners for successful map appeals, eliminate penalties on communities trying to protect themselves against flood damage, protect the basement exception that allows the lowest proofed opening in a home to be used for determining flood insurance rates, and establish a Flood Insurance Rate Map Advocate within FEMA to answer current and prospective policyholder questions about the flood mapping process.

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