Senate passes House Flood Insurance Bill: President expected to sign it into law

After the usual round of negotiations the Senate this week passed, on a 72-22 vote, the Bill the House passed last week. The White House said that President Obama would sign it into law.

Here are the details of the Bill from my post last week: Bipartisan Congress votes to roll back impact of 2012 legislation

Reform of the National Flood Insurance program is needed. Here are my suggestions:

1. Do not try to include small, frequent losses caused by flooding throughout the country, and catastrophic major disasters, in one program. The NFIP is well suited for the former, and ill-suited for the latter.

2. Enforce the current requirement that properties in flood zones with federally insured mortgages carry flood insurance. Estimates vary, but the lowest I have seen is that 40% of such properties do not have flood insurance. Why not?

3. Flood insurance should stay with the property rather than the owner so that a sale does not trigger a change in flood insurance premiums (this is in the new Act).

4. Spend the necessary money to ensure that the flood maps used are accurate (they are not in Massachusetts).

After writing several articles on this topic in recent months, I hope that this will be my last for the foreseeable future. It has taken a while but common sense has finally prevailed in Congress. Now there is the opportunity to come up with a lasting solution to the question of flood insurance.

If you  – or somebody you know – are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 781.631.1223 or

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Realty in Marblehead



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