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Marino meets with residents, small businesses to discuss increase in flood insurance premiums
By U.S. Representative Tom Marino
December 20, 2013
Earlier this week, U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) joined local officials in Muncy, Montoursville and Jersey Shore to meet with residents and small business owners who have been affected by the recent increases in flood insurance premiums.
Since 1968, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been assisting families and businesses to rebuild after devastating floods. However, in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Superstorm Sandy, the program is now $28 billion in debt.
“Because of this debt, Congress took action and passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012,” Marino said. “While this legislation was the best option at the time, it led to the unintended consequence of drastically increased premiums for some of those with flood insurance.”
Marino added, “I have been hearing about these dramatic rate increases from my constituents for months now, and while I understand the need for homeowners to pay a premium that reflects the actual risk of their property flooding, Congress needs to find a solution that ensures flood insurance remains an affordable safety net for low and middle class families.”
Rep. Marino was joined by local officials, including Lycoming County Commissioners Jeff Wheeland, Ernie Larson and Tony Mussare, Muncy Borough Manager William Ramsey, Montoursville Mayor John Dorin, representatives from the offices of State Senator Eugene Yaw and State Representative Garth Everett, and other community leaders, as he met with several residents and local business owners across Lycoming County who have seen their premium rates skyrocket.
“A homeowner that I met with in Muncy told me his flood insurance premiums are going from less than $1,000 a year to over $9,000,” Marino said. “Another couple invested in properties along Main Street in Jersey Shore but is now facing a $40,000 bill every year for their insurance premium.”
“I am doing everything I can to redress the negative effects of the Biggert-Waters Act and find a sensible solution,” Marino added, “I have co-sponsored several pieces of legislation that will delay these increases, require an accountability study to be conducted, and call on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with state and local entities to identify ways to reduce these rates.”
Marino is a co-sponsor of three pieces of legislation, the Flood Insurance Implementation Reform Act of 2013 introduced by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and the Flood Insurance Relief and Transparency Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). All three bills have bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives.