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You Could Have to Pay More: Bill to Delay Flood Insurance Increase Progressing

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The bill that could keep your flood insurance rates from going sky high was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate. It could mean thousands of Mississippians will not get federal flood insurance bills that could go up as much as 3,000 percent, according to some estimates by the Miss. insurance commissioner.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R), said he has talked with people from the Delta, to the Tenn-Tom, to the coast who would see their insurance go up, which could be enough to force them off their property.

“I support the long-term flood insurance reforms that Congress enacted last year.  However, before implementing policies that could drive people out of homes and harm local economies, we need to make absolutely sure the methods being used to calculate risk are technically sound,” said Cochran.

He’s talking about the Biggert-Waters Act that FEMA is in charge of enforcing. It passed the Senate without opportunity for amendment as part of a larger package that included the Highway Bill and Gulf Coast RESTORE Act, according to Cochran.

“This (new) legislation represents a responsible, limited approach to address the unintended problems created in implementing well-intentioned flood insurance program reforms.  These high rates could actually force homeowners out of the program and jeopardize all of the reforms we’ve made to improve its solvency.”

The legislation that both Democrats and Republicans are working on would make FEMA prove it has scientific flood mapping methods that would accurately show where people might be in the greatest flood risk areas.

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