The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 calls for removing subsidies from federal flood insurance so residential and commercial property owners eventually will pay the full-risk rate. Under Biggert-Waters, property owners will see 25 percent increases in their flood insurance premiums for the next four years (in some cases a 20 percent increase over five years). These increases, designed to place the full risk cost of insurance on property owners, will devalue all properties receiving subsidized insurance premium rates. In some cases, annual premium rates may be as much or more than monthly mortgage payments. Pre Biggert-Waters, subsidized properties were rated on flood risk assessments made when the structure was constructed. Now, even though these structures have never received substantial flood damage, their owners will struggle to pay premiums to keep flood insurance on these structures. Property owners are required to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving any form of federal-related financial assistance, such as mortgages, unless repealed. Biggert-Waters will make many properties in flood zones only affordable to cash buyers who can choose not to have flood insurance.
The Dauphin County Commissioners have called on Congress to delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act until a comprehensive study is completed. The Commissioners encourage property owners, both residential and commercial, in Dauphin County who are affected by premium increases to contact their office at 717-780-6300 or complete the form below to share their concerns. The comments may be shared publicly and with legislators.
Related Press Releases from the Commissioners:
- Dauphin County Commissioners call on Congress to delay flood insurance premium rate hikes that devastate communities
- Dauphin County Commissioners hear from residents and business leaders about the devastating impact of rising flood insurance premiums
- See the Dauphin County Flood Plan