Committee Passes Congressman Scott's Amendment
The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010, by voice vote. H.R. 5114 will reauthorize and improve the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is the primary source of reliable, affordable flood insurance coverage for millions of American homes and businesses. During the markup, the committee approved an amendment by Congressman Scott to allow low-income homeowners to pay for NFIP premiums in installments.
"My amendment will address the financial barriers that low-income homeowners might encounter when procuring mandatory flood insurance for their property, namely the lump-sum payment of a policy premium," Congressman Scott said. "After the flood, several constituents contacted my office to share their concerns about the burden of paying flood insurance premiums. While the deluge may have gone, we must make sure that these hard-working homeowners do not drown in the financial aftermath. My amendment will allow these homeowners to pay their premiums in installments."
In order to rebuild one's home on flood prone property, property that in many cases was not considered to be flood prone due to outdated floodplain mapping, one must purchase flood insurance before rebuilding assistance is granted. For individuals who are unemployed or families under constrained budgets, the requirement for a lump-sum payment of a policy premium for coverage that is mandated by law can be quite difficult to fulfill. Congressman Scott's Amendment allows homeowners below a certain income level (200% of the federal poverty line or below) to submit their premium through monthly installments.
In recent years, the U.S. has experienced increased flooding in areas not designated as flood hazard areas so FEMA has been revising and updating flood insurance maps to better reflect the risk of flooding in additional areas. Congresswoman Scott has requested that FEMA and Army Corps of Engineer officials review flood maps in Georgia to ensure that the maps are accurate.
Congressman Scott is a member of the Committee on Financial Services, which has oversight of flood insurance programs.