Van Drew wants flood insurance changes reassessed

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TRENTON – State Sen. Jeff Van Drew said he will introduce a resolution calling on Congress to reassess the federal Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 – a law that overhauled the National Flood Insurance Program, imposing new restrictions on homeowners and reducing flood insurance subsidies for certain property owners in coastal areas.

 

The proposal comes after a meeting Van Drew held last week with members of the Christie administration and officials from Cape May County to discuss concerns over the new rebuilding requirements endorsed by the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

“We have heard from dozens of local officials, residents and professionals who are concerned about the new rebuilding requirements and flood insurance standards they will be forced to comply with in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. While we know the new flood maps proposed by FEMA are one factor that will contribute to the difficulty facing residents in the rebuilding effort, a recently enacted law that overhauled the federal flood insurance program will also have a dramatic impact on the cost of insurance for property owners,” said Van Drew. “In an attempt to address this issue, I am drafting a resolution requesting that Congress reevaluate the economic impact of the federal reform law and consider a more deliberative approach to implementation, especially given the state of the national economy and, in particular, the state of the economy in New Jersey.”

Signed into law in July 2012, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and made significant changes to the program. In addition to other provisions, the law will phase out flood insurance subsidies for certain properties – including second homes, businesses and homes substantially damaged or improved – and increase premiums on them by 25 percent until they reach their full actuarial cost; raise the annual cap on premium rate increases for all other properties from 10 percent to 20 percent; require minimum deductibles for flood insurance and impose stricter requirements for obtaining flood insurance.


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