Categorized | Government, News

Rep Gabbard votes to limit drastic and arbitrary increases in flood insurance premiums


Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted to limit drastic and arbitrary increases for flood insurance premiums in Hawai‘i. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) will lower the cap on average annual rate increases to 15 percent, requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure flood maps are as accurate as possible, and to implement measures to ensure affordability of flood insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation does not increase the deficit. The bill passed by a vote of 306-91.

“Nearly one-quarter of Hawai‘i homes and businesses with flood insurance would be blindsided by proposed premium hikes, which would have been 25 percent higher without the legislation we passed in the House today,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a cosponsor of H.R. 3370. “As FEMA continues to adjust its flood maps, we have a responsibility to make sure that our families and business owners are not pushed out of their homes or their businesses shuttered by this sudden shift in premium prices. For example, an 18-unit condo building on Maui that is re-classified by FEMA from lowest-risk to highest-risk of flooding would jump from about $1,775 per year per unit to more than $10,000 per unit.”

Last summer, the congresswoman also supported a one-year delay of the premium hikes in the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

H.R. 3370 also repeals three “triggers” that would increase flood insurance premiums under the 2012 Biggert-Waters reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program:

  1. All properties sold after July 6, 2012. New homeowners and business owners will continue to receive the same treatment as the previous owner.
  2. All properties that purchased a new policy after July 6, 2012, before they were legally required to purchase insurance.
  3. All properties that had a lapsed policy, provided that the lapse was as a result of the property covered by the policy no longer requiring coverage.

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