As we move into 2015, the Marshfield Citizens Coastal Coalition (MCCC) would like to THANK everyone for their support in 2014. We will need even more in 2015, because we are a long way from being done! Below are CRTICAL updates as we go into 2015
Earlier this year congress passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA). This act limited the annual allowable rate increase for any policy at 18%. While still high, the annual rate increase allowed under the Biggert-Waters Act were as high as 25% for many.
However in a bulletin released by FEMA in October of this year, FEMA has interpreted the HFIAA to allow surcharges and Federal Policy Fees to go above and beyond the annual cap of 18%. Here are some examples:
VE zones will go up 13% a year
AE zones will go up 23% a year
Pre-FIRM second homes will go up 37% a year
These increases are much higher than expected, and unsustainable for many. The MCCC has made a quick reference sheet that gives the average increases for some zones. You can view it here under download #7:
These increases will be effective for any policy or renewal on or after April 1st 2015.
Plan for 2017
In 2017, the HFIAA and Biggert-Waters both expire and a new bill will need to be written to replace both. The Marshfield and Scituate Coastal Coalitions, along with other coalitions and leaders across the state, are formulating a plan that will begin the process of networking nationally to help write the next piece of legislation that will keep the NFIP affordable, sustainable and add certainty to the program going forward. After talking to the national coalition for flood reform, also known as CSFI, we are in the final phase of releasing this plan under the Massachusetts Coastal Coalition. It is a somewhat comprehensive plan and will take roughly a year. However we will be rolling out the plan within the next few weeks.
Interim FEMA Flood Insurance Advocate Appointed
Directly from FEMA:
“Acting Flood Insurance Advocate, David Stearrett, will lead the Interim Office, which specializes in assisting clients and policyholders on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) issues and is an independent office within FEMA with direct alignment to the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) associate administrator and the FEMA administrator. This Interim Office will operate until a permanent Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate is established in accordance with Section 24 of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (subject to budget resources).
FEMA has designated an Acting Flood Insurance Advocate and an interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate as part of its commitment to provide assistance to homeowners and policyholders. At launch, the acting Advocate and staff will focus on assisting the public as they navigate through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) processes by leveraging FEMA resources to address specific public inquiries or concerns.”
Thank you and Happy New Year!