WASHINGTON — Sen. Mary Landrieu is asking for a delay in the increase of premium rates for policyholders with the National Flood Insurance Program.
Landrieu, D-La., authored a letter with three other senators to Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate about concerns that some policyholders could see their rates increased by up to 25 percent over the next five years.
Legislation was signed into law last summer to help revamp the cash-strapped National Flood Insurance Program. Landrieu had pushed to add a pilot program to financially help lower income and middle-class homeowners purchase flood insurance, but her amendment never received a Senate vote.
Landrieu, along with Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote that “These steep increases will place a great burden on the budgets of many hardworking and low-income homeowners who are required to purchase NFIP coverage.”
They also urged FEMA to quickly release the results of a study to assess the affordability of NFIP premiums and the effects of increased premiums on low-income homeowners. The study is due on April 6.
Last week, Landrieu chaired a Small Business Committee roundtable meeting that included a discussion on the importance of affordable flood insurance for those living along the United States’ coasts.
“In Louisiana, we are running the Mississippi River for the entire country; we are developing oil and gas that powers our cars and homes; and we are supplying one-third of this country’s seafood,” Landrieu said at the time. “We must ensure that the flood insurance our small businesses get is insurance that they can afford. It’s not just for their benefit; it’s for the benefit of the entire country.”