On Friday, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3370) into law. H.R. 3370 helps ensure that property owners have access to affordable flood insurance and rolls back large flood insurance rate increases seen by many homeowners this year.
Most importantly, the law prevents the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, which manages the flood insurance program) from increasing premium rates when a property is sold or a new flood map is developed. The legislation also calls for refunds of some of the recent rate increases homeowners have paid. Further, it limits premium increases to 18% annually. To pay for these fixes, the bill requires policyholders to pay a $25 surcharge on residential policies and a $250 surcharge on the premiums for policies covering non-residential properties and non-primary residences.