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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Jeff Van Drew Voices Support for Bipartisan Flood Insurance Reform

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd)

By Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2nd) joined members of the New Jersey and Louisiana congressional delegations to announce his support for the National Flood Insurance Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019.
According to a release, it is a bipartisan and bicameral bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program which expires at the end of September.
The bill protects policyholders from steep premium increases, makes policies more affordable, improves flood maps, and ensures basic fairness for policyholders and victims of disasters.
“The bottom line is that we cannot allow exorbitant premium increases of up to 25 percent per year. Most families in South Jersey would not be able to afford such increases and our bill prevents that from happening,” stated Van Drew
“After Superstorm Sandy, many in our community faced challenges with the claims process despite having made every payment on time and having played by the rules. Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will allow us to increase the affordability of flood insurance and make it more effective when disaster strikes.
“The millions of people who rely upon the NFIP need us to tackle these issues and solve the problems with the program.”
“This commonsense, bipartisan solution enhances resiliency and mitigation while extending NFIP and keeping it affordable,” he continued.
“More than 5 million Americans depend on the National Flood Insurance Program to protect their homes and businesses. For many people, this program is as essential as air and water,” stated Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA).
“Louisiana energy jobs are helping the U.S. end its reliance on foreign oil. Through common-sense reforms, we can create a flood insurance program that continues to protect people’s homes at affordable rates while remaining solvent.”
The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019 would take concrete steps to improve affordability and accountability in the National Flood Insurance Program by implementing the following policies:
• Reauthorizes NFIP for five years, extending the program until Sept. 30, 2024.
• Lowers the cap on allowable annual premium increases on NFIP policies to ensure affordability each year for policyholders.
• Caps Write Your Own (WYO) compensation to ensure private insurance isn’t making hand-over-fist profits at the expense of program sustainability.
• Authorizes funding for Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology for more accurate mapping of flood risk across the country, reducing confusion and generating better data.
• Increases the maximum limit for ICC coverage to better reflect the costs of mitigation projects and expands eligibility in order to encourage more proactive mitigation before natural disasters strike.
• Institutes a significant number of policyholder protection and fairness provisions to ensure homeowners who faithfully paid their premiums are treated fairly during the claims process.
• Fundamentally reforms the claims process based on lessons learned after Superstorm Sandy and other disasters, leveling the playing field for policyholders during appeals and litigation by holding FEMA to strict deadlines for payments to homeowners, banning aggressive legal tactics that prevent homeowners from filing legitimate claims and ending FEMA’s reliance on outside legal counsel from expensive for-profit entities.
• Provides robust funding levels for large-scale, communitywide mitigation efforts, and mitigation assistance programs, which have a 4:1 return on investment and are the most effective way to reduce flood risk.

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