Marino encourages Governor Corbett, state legislature to act on rising flood insurance premiums

December 20, 2013

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) heard firsthand from dozens of residents across Lycoming County over the past week about the negative effects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

Today, Marino sent a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Pennsylvania General Assembly leadership members, encouraging them to take action.

“Unfortunately, Congress has neglected to delay, reform, or repeal Biggert-Waters prior to the end of year looming deadline,” Marino said in the letter.  “Consequently, insurance premiums are set to dramatically increase in less than two weeks time – causing families and small businesses to decide between wiping out their bank accounts to purchase the federally mandated plans, or facing foreclosure proceedings.  Although I supported the original intention of Biggert-Waters to make the flood insurance program once again solvent, it has clearly proven to have drastic unforeseen consequences with new skyrocketing insurance premiums.”

Marino went on to request that members of the General Assembly come together to mitigate the unintended effects this law is having on low- and middle-income families across Pennsylvania.  Specifically, he referenced a Mississippi lawsuit that challenges the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s failure to complete an affordability study before increasing insurance rates, as required by Biggert-Waters.

“These premiums threaten the vibrancy and very existence of these towns as property values plummet, the real estate market dries up, and strong local tax bases vanish.”

While thousands of homes, businesses and properties across the 10th Congressional District are facing dramatic increases in their flood insurance premiums, the effects of this legislation have been felt nation-wide.

“The issue at hand was undoubtedly created at the federal level and should be fixed at the federal level as well,” Marino added.  “As I continue to put pressure on my leadership and colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring legislation to the House Floor, it is my sincere hope that innovative legal or legislative initiatives at the state level can also assist in mitigating the costs of flood insurance for Pennsylvanians."

Marino sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and other members of House leadership earlier this week, urging that legislation related to the increases in flood insurance premiums be brought to the House floor for consideration as soon as possible.