Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A special session focused on flood insurance?



State Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, has sent the Secretary of State a letter formally requesting he poll legislators to determine if three fifths would agree to special section to call on Congress to enact a one-year moratorium on a new flood insurance law that stands to have dramatically increase insurance costs for thousands of Floridians, both on the coast and inland.

From Dudley:

“On Wednesday, in U.S. Senate hearings to examine the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012, FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate acknowledged that some homeowners were facing huge flood insurance rate increases that could potentially cause them to lose their homes due to a lack of affordability.  Fugate also noted that only Congress is authorized to make changes to the law as written.  With this in mind, I urge my fellow legislators to give up a few minutes of their time during committee week to convene a Special Session to pass House Memorial urging the Florida Congressional Delegation and Congress to act swiftly to protect Floridians from financial harm and enact a one year moratorium on the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“While I understand that FEMA needs to balance its budget after the debts incurred due to the devastation from Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, the two costliest storms in NFIP history, it should not be on the backs of Florida property owners who have paid about $16.1 billion in premiums while collecting just $3.7 billion in claims in the history of the flood program, according to one recently reported estimate.  In fact, each year Florida contributes roughly a third of all premiums paid into the National Flood Insurance Program....

“Let’s send a message to Congress that they need to take action now.  Florida’s real estate market has been steadily improving.  This law could have a devastating impact on our economy, and that's going to affect all of us, so we need to put the brakes on this Biggert-Waters implementation.”

[Last modified: Saturday, September 21, 2013 5:40pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours