House leaders have put off a vote on a bill that would reverse some of the rate increases due to the Biggert Waters Act. House Speaker John Boehner said that the legislation had encountered "unintended consequences." The Speaker did not elaborate but he was hopeful the vote could happen the week of March 3rd.
The bill will have to pass by a super majority because it bypassed normal procedures. The delay recognizes that time is needed to build support for the bill.
The bill would eliminate a provision of the 2012 law that said subsidized rates disappear when a person sells a primary home, which has stymied the real estate market. However, rates could still rise by an average of 15 percent a year.
It would also reinstate grandfathered flood insurance rates that would go away under new FEMA flood maps, provide a refund for people who bought a home since 2012 and had to pay higher rates, and call on FEMA to finish within two years a study on the affordability of phasing in more actuarially sound insurance premiums.
To address the insolvency of the flood program, it calls for a $25 annual assessment on primary residence policies covered by the program and about $250 for businesses and secondary residences.