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Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance
Reform Act of 2012

and

Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013

 Myths and Facts about the National Flood Insurance Program

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is Federal legislation that affects premium rates on National Flood Insurance Program policies. Lee County joined Southwest Florida municipalities and nationwide governments, chambers of commerce and other groups to urge Congress to amend that act to protect local residents and business owners from unreasonable increased in premiums for National Flood Insurance Program policies. 

On March 13, the Senate approved HR 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, and President Obama signed it March 21.  This bill:

  • Limits annual rate increases to 18% to 25%;
  • Repeals the provision of Biggert-Waters that required property buyers to pay the full-risk rate for PreFIRM structures at the time of purchase;
  • Repeals the provision of Biggert-Waters that required owners of PreFIRM structures to pay the full-risk rate if they purchase a new policy;
  • Repeals the provision of Biggert-Waters that would have terminated grandfathering;
  • Refunds homeowners who paid the higher rates established under Biggert-Waters since October 2013;
  • Requires FEMA to minimize the number of policies with annual premiums that exceed 1% 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.


At this website, policy holders can learn about these Congressional acts, Lee County’s efforts to address them, and tips regarding flood insurance.

FEMA logoApproximately 8,000 policy holders in Lee County may see some impact from Biggert-Waters and the amending legislation. Policy holders are urged to contact their flood insurance agent to determine the exact impact on their policy premium and coverage.

  

Additional Information

Lee County Commission Chairman and local mayors head to Washington, D.C.

Letter to Majority Leader Cantor

What is the Biggert-Waters Act? 

 Look up flood zones and base flood elevations online at www.leegov.com/dcd/floodmaps  Look for an elevation certificate online at www.leegov.com/dcd/elevcert.pdf