House Passes Hanabusa Co-Sponsored Bill to Protect Hawaii Homeowners from Skyrocketing Flood Insurance Premiums

Washington, D.C. – March 6, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) today voted in favor of H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which seeks to address unaffordable flood insurance rate hikes by rolling back the sudden increases in premiums and providing stability for homeowners looking to sell their homes.

“I am proud to cosponsor this bi-partisan legislation addressing the problematic reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program. Without these changes, Hawaii homeowners would have found it financially difficult to buy, sell, or own a home in certain high-risk areas due to dramatically increased insurance premiums,” said Hanabusa. “This bill caps increases on primary residential insurance premiums at 18% annually. Under the prior law, homeowners in Hawaii would have seen premium increases of up to 30 to 40%.

“In addition, the measure allows individuals who purchase homes in newly designated flood zones to pay flood insurance premiums at a subsidized rate until annual increases reach actuarially sound levels, rather than the massive one-time rate increases imposed by remapping.

“Many of my constituents have been contacting my office with their concerns about the premium increases, and I am pleased this bill will help bring relief and certainty to homeowners across Hawaii who live in flood prone areas.”

The bill also provides refunds to homeowners who have paid significant premium rate hikes since 2012. Finally, it requires FEMA to compile a report that must be made public six months prior to the implementation of a rate increase, outlining the rate table and guidelines that provide the basis for the change to provide consumers with greater transparency and input.

The bill passed by a vote of 306-91 and now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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