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Begich Protects Alaska Homeowners from Rising Cost of Flood Insurance

Prevents Alaskans from Losing their Homes due to High Cost of Premiums

Alaskans will get welcome relief from the steep increases in flood insurance costs that have threatened to push some homeowners out of their homes, thanks to Senate approval today of a national flood insurance bill which U.S. Senator Mark Begich supported. Begich has been fighting these steep increases because of the devastating financial impact on Alaska residents in coastal and flood-prone communities. 

 “I won’t stand by and let hundreds of Alaskans get priced out of their homes because of a misguided federal regulation,” Begich said. “We need to find a solution to bring solvency to the National Flood Insurance Program but we can do better than unreasonable increases to home flood insurance premiums.  My office has fielded calls from concerned Alaskan homeowners and business owners from Juneau to Palmer to Talkeetna.  Besides pricing people out of their homes, these increases will suffocate real estate markets and hurt local economies across Alaska. That’s why I joined Senator Lisa Murkowski today to vote in support of the bipartisan Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.”

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act approved today in the Senate will ensure that insurance premiums remain affordable for homeowners and business owners until a realistic solution can be implemented.  The bill will delay premium increases for all currently “grandfathered” homes and businesses as well as properties that either purchased a new policy or were sold after July 6, 2012. Premium increases would be delayed until FEMA can complete a required study to assess the affordability of flood insurance and send a proposal to Congress. For many homeowners this means rate hikes wouldn’t occur for up to three years.

The scheduled increases, a result of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act, were intended to offset the growing debt of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) but are premature without a full understanding of the real financial impact on homeowners across the country.  The NFIP provides funding to homeowners across the country, including those who experienced flood damage as the result of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy and flooding and extreme weather in Galena and along the Kenai Peninsula.

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