Flood Insurance

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Floods continue to impact wide swaths of Louisiana, and a long rebuilding process is ahead for tens of thousands of people. The Association of State Floodplain Managers released these tips on what to do to prepare before you repair.

 

DURING A FLOOD

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Business and political leaders are meeting in New Orleans Friday to discuss ways of providing affordable flood insurance.

FEMA Administrator David Miller will be explaining how it's assembling maps that are used for setting flood insurance premiums.

The meeting was arranged by GNO, Inc. The business development group led a drive to revamp legislation that could have resulted in some premiums rising from less than $1,000 to tens of thousands of dollars.

GNO, Inc. President Michael Hecht says it may be time to review the overall process for getting flood insurance.

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New homeowners and business owners in Louisiana will now be able to assume the property’s existing flood insurance policy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has repealed a provision of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act that made it impossible for new homeowners to receive subsidized insurance premiums for properties built before flood rate maps were established for their communities.

Senator Mary Landrieu told the Times-Picayune that FEMA officially stopped implementing the old provision on May 1.

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President Barack Obama has signed a new law that will give hundreds of thousands of homeowners living in flood-prone areas relief from big jumps in insurance costs.

Lawmakers from both parties supported the measure in response to angry homeowners who faced sharp premium hikes after an overhaul of the government's flood insurance program two years ago.

Office of Senator Mary Landrieu

Louisiana public officials are launching a bipartisan battle to revamp proposed changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The administrator evaluating the objections was taken on a helicopter tour of coastal regions possibly facing steep premium hikes.

Louisianians may find solace from impending increases in flood insurance rates as Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bill to prevent those hikes heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration at its Thursday meeting.

Landrieu chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee of Appropriations, which passed the bill to the larger body Tuesday.

The measures are included in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for next fiscal year. Called the Strengthen, Modernize and Reform the National Flood Insurance Program, or SMART NFIP, the bill would postpone parts of last year’s Biggert-Waters Act.

There's a quick, one-word explanation for why the federal government started selling flood insurance: Betsy.

Hurricane Betsy, which struck the Gulf Coast in 1965, became known as billion-dollar Betsy. Homes were ruined. Water up to the roofs. People paddling around streets in boats. Massive damage.

This would be the time when you'd expect people to be pulling out their flood insurance policies. But flood insurance was hard to come by. You could get fire insurance, theft insurance, car insurance, life insurance. Not flood.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Sen. David Vitter is pushing for a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Louisiana Republican wants to stop extending the program with short-term extensions. The insurance program, which provides help for people who are flooded, hasn't been fully reauthorized since 2004. The program is slated to expire at the end of May unless it is extended.

A bill sponsored by Vitter to extend the flood insurance program through 2016 is awaiting a vote before the full Senate.