Lawmakers want to delay flood insurance rate hikes - WFLA News Channel 8

Lawmakers want to delay flood insurance rate hikes

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A group of lawmakers, including Florida's Sen. Bill Nelson, say they have reached an agreement to introduce legislation to delay flood insurance rate hikes.

The legislation is expected to be filed in the Senate Tuesday.

Under the proposed legislation, rate hikes would be delayed for four years and require FEMA to complete an affordability study before increasing flood insurance premiums in the future.

"This is great news for many Floridians who've been told their flood insurance rates were going way up," Nelson said in a news release.  "If people can't afford the coverage, what good is it going to do?"

A federal subsidy that kept rates affordable expired Oct. 1. The national flood insurance program is $24 billion in debt, so Congress voted to cancel the subsidy in order to get the program in better financial shape.  As a result, thousands of Tampa Bay homeowners have been finding out their insurance rates would skyrocket, in some cases by thousands of dollars a year.

Realtors, homeowners and local politicians have asked Congress to at least postpone this hike, and try to come up with another option.

Critics, however, say this move only postpones taking care of the problem.

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