July 15, 2010(Key vote)
Title: Flood Insurance Program Extension
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that extends the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2015, whereas existing law prohibited new contracts for flood insurance after September 30, 2008, and issues other amendments to the program.
Increases maximum coverage limits as follows (Sec. 4):
For single-family dwellings, from $250,000 to $335,000;
For contents related to single-family dwellings, from $100,000 to $135,000; and
For business properties owned or leased and operated by "small business concerns" and church properties, including coverage for contents related to such properties, from $500,000 to $670,000.
Amends the requirement for the purchase of flood insurance in areas having special flood hazards to require the purchase of insurance 5 years after the issuance, revision, updating, or other change in flood insurance maps that designates the area as having special flood hazards (Sec. 6).
Increases the maximum allowable annual increase in flood insurance premium rates from 10 to 20 percent (Sec. 8).
Establishes the following schedule for flood insurance rates for areas required to purchase insurance 5 years after being designated as having special flood hazards (Sec. 7):
For the first year, 20 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the second year, 40 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the third year, 60 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the fourth year, 80 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable; and
For the fifth year, 100 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable.
Requires the Director to establish regulations that authorize premiums for flood insurance coverage for residential property to be paid for in installments (Sec. 19).
Establishes the following minimum annual deductibles for claims filed for damage to or loss of covered properties (Sec. 18):
For any structure constructed or underwent substantial improvement on or before December 31, 1974:
$1,500 if the coverage is equal to or less than $100,000; and
$2,000 if the coverage is greater than $100,000;
For any structure constructed or underwent substantial improvement after December 31, 1974:
$750 if the coverage is equal to or less than $100,000; and
$1,000 if the coverage is equal to or greater than $100,000.
Prohibits the Director from utilizing the facilities or services of any entity to offer flood insurance coverage unless the entity enters into a written agreement not to exclude coverage for wind or other damage solely because flooding has also contributed to damage to the insured property (Sec. 26).
Establishes the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate, within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for the purposes of the following (Sec. 30):
Assisting individuals insured under the program in resolving problems with FEMA;
Identifying areas in which individuals insured under the program have problems in dealing with the agency related to such problem;
Identifying potential legislative, administrative, or regulatory changes which may be appropriate to mitigate the aforementioned problems;
Assisting communities and homeowners with interpreting, implementing, and appealing floodplain maps and floodplain map determination;
Facilitating the sharing of the "best-practices" of FEMA amongst all offices of the agency with respect to the creation and updating of floodplain maps;
Performing economic impact analyses for communities on the economic impact of floodplain maps and floodplain map determinations on small businesses, lending, real estate development, and other economic indicators with the community;
Establishing a national arbitration panel regarding flood map modernization;
Establishing a process under which scientific and engineering data will be made publicly available to individuals impacted by flood map revisions;
Establishing a process under which communities impacted by flood map revision will be provided an open community forum to consult with and ask questions of representatives of FEMA; and
Identifying ways to assist communities in efforts to fund the accreditation of flood protection systems.
Requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Director of FEMA to implement a plan to verify that individuals receiving funds under the Homeowner Grant Assistance Program of the State of Mississippi or the Road Home Program of the State of Louisiana are maintaining flood insurance on the property for which such individuals receive such funds (Sec. 29).