Menendez-Isakson Flood Insurance Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Senate 67-32

Menendez-Isakson Flood Insurance Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Senate 67-32

Bill provides relief to thousands of NJ homeowners facing devastating premium hikes

Click here to watch Menendez remarks earlier today
NOTE: Additional video to follow soon

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez applauded today's overwhelming bi-partisan passage of the Menendez-Isakson Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act which will protect thousands of middle class families in New Jersey from what could be financially devastating flood insurance premium hikes. Time and again, Menendez has warned about the affordability problems associated with Biggert-Waters, and he crafted this legislation which will freeze flood insurance premium increases on most properties impacted by Biggert-Waters until FEMA completes an affordability study, provide solutions to mitigate their effect and scientifically certify their accuracy.

"This is a triumphant victory for the thousands of New Jersey homeowners who need our help and stood up, spoke out and stuck with me until we took this flood insurance relief bill over the finish line," said Sen. Menendez. "At a time when ordinary families are frustrated because government doesn't seem to listen, I heard you loud and clear and thankfully both sides of the aisle came together to fix this problem so middle class families can afford flood insurance and stay in their homes, businesses can stay open, and property values won't plummet. This fight isn't just about insurance-rate-tables and actuarial risk rates - it's all about hardworking people. People who played by the rules their whole lives and are now facing a life altering event they never could have prepared or planned for.

"But our fight is not over," he added. "Now we must call on Speaker Boehner and the House to pass this legislation so we can send it to the President to sign it into law."

The Menendez-Isakson Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act originally introduced by Sen. Menendez on the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and then reintroduced last month, would freeze federal flood insurance premium hikes on most properties until FEMA completes an affordability study, provides solutions to mitigate their affect and scientifically certifies the accuracy of their maps.

A wave of insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina put the National Flood Insurance Program on the verge of bankruptcy. In 2012, Congress passed a law, known as Biggert-Waters, to restore its solvency. But drastic rate increases mandated by Biggert-Waters are placing a tremendous burden on recovering flood victims.

It delays implementation of flood insurance rate increases and protects NFIP policyholders who have no annual cap on their rate increases and have seen their property values plummet as a direct result of Biggert-Waters. This includes all homes and businesses that were built to code and later remapped into a higher risk area and all properties that were built before flood maps were released which could see their rates skyrocket overnight when they try to sell their property.