Menendez: We Must Protect Homeowners From Skyrocketing Flood Insurance Premiums

WASHINGTON, DC – May 10, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — In remarks on the floor of the Senate, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez called on his colleagues to join him in preventing flood insurance premiums from skyrocketing for thousands of New Jersey homeowners, many of whom found their homes damaged or destroyed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

“It is like a triple whammy,” said Senator Menendez. “We have the consequences of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated homes, so they have to rebuild. Many times, that insurance didn’t rise to the level of the cost of rebuilding. Secondly, and as a result of flood maps that came in after the storm, there are now requirements for new elevations. Thirdly, the premiums are going to skyrocket because the subsidies go down. So we have a triple whammy.”

Menendez spoke in favor of an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which would stop flood insurance premiums from skyrocketing until FEMA completes its study on the affordability of premiums of the National Flood Insurance Program. Menendez – who has fought to try to keep flood insurance premiums affordable for middle class families – was able to include the requirement that FEMA conduct a study on its affordability as part of flood insurance legislation passed last year. Ten months later, that study has still not been conducted.

“I have heard from countless New Jerseyans – many who are facing this predicament have come to me in tears,” Menendez added. “These are hard-working middle-class families who have played by the rules, purchased flood insurance responsibly, and now are being priced out of the only home in which they have ever lived. This amendment would delay these potentially devastating changes until FEMA completes its study on premium affordability.”

For nearly two years, well before Sandy hit, Menendez has pushed for vouchers to help low-income families afford the flood insurance they need.

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