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Sen. Cassidy speaks on National Flood Insurance Program, Risk Rating

Cassidy looks to extend the N.F.I.P. and delay or get rid of Risk Rating 2.0
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 9:36 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Tuesday, Senator Bill Cassidy took the Senate floor to talk about disaster aid, the National Flood Insurance Program and Risk Rating 2.0.

Sen. Bill Cassidy called for lawmakers to pass the Supplemental Disaster Assistance Bill.

“Pass the bill for the people of Lake Charles. Pass the bill for the people of Terrebonne, Lafourche parishes, and Southeast Louisiana. Pass the bill for the people impacted by Ida in the northeast. Pass the bill for the people impacted by wildfires in the west.” Cassidy said.

He also took the opportunity to address flood insurance today, specifically the N.F.I.P. and Risk Rating 2.0.

“In light of these storms, I must speak about the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, which is set to roll out Risk Rating 2.0 in October, Oct. 1, while many policy holders are still recovering from hurricane damage,” Cassidy said.

The N.F.I.P. is currently set to expire at the end of the month. Cassidy is requesting it be extended for another year.

Risk Rating 2.0 is a new pricing method from FEMA, which said the rates would accurately reflect flood risk.

“In Louisiana, 80 percent of policy holders will see increases in the first year. For some, premiums may become unaffordable and could collapse the value of their home,” Cassidy said.

Risk Rating 2.0 could exponentially spike flood insurance policies for people across the U.S. and effect a large portion of Louisiana. Specifically, FEMA says that 10 percent of Louisiana flood insurance policies could see an increase of $120 or more.

Cassidy is requesting that the Risk Rating 2.0 be postponed until next spring or thrown out all together.

“At the end of the day, flood insurance must be affordable for the homeowner, accessible for the homeowner, accountable to the taxpayer and sustainable,” Cassidy said.

If Risk Rating 2.0 does move forward, the program would be rolled out in two parts. First, new policy holders would see different rates starting Oct. 1. The second phase would affect current policy holders renewing on or after April 1, 2022.

Senator John Kennedy is also supporting the extension of the N.F.I.P. and said in a press release on Sept. 13:

“Louisiana families need the NFIP to rebuild their homes and businesses after destructive floods. The wreckage from Hurricane Ida is a powerful reminder of just how much Louisianians, and families throughout the country, desperately depend on flood insurance to protect their greatest investments. It’s vital that we extend this program by another year as Tropical Storm Nicholas is expected to bring significant flooding on the heels of Hurricane Ida.”

In a press release on Aug. 5, Senator Kennedy went more in depth about the facts and figures that would come with Risk Rating 2.0:

“The NFIP was founded on the principle of capturing risk while ensuring the program remains affordable for policyholders. FEMA’s fact sheets on RR 2.0 state that 3.8 million Americans will see an increase in their policy, up to $240 per year. Not only that, FEMA will continue to raise premium rates by 18% until a policyholder’s premium mirrors their ‘true risk-based premium.’ I am deeply concerned that flood insurance will become unaffordable under your proposal. . . . Your actions to roll out RR 2.0 will impact home sales, commercial property values, and real estate commissions all across this country.”

Kennedy continued, sharing a similar concern with Cassidy, that RR 2.0 would make it difficult, or even impossible, for some Louisiana residents to pay their flood insurance:

“I am deeply concerned about the affordability of flood insurance under the RR 2.0 proposal. This proposal will significantly raise premiums for policyholders in Louisiana.”

CLICK HERE for more information on Risk Rating 2.0.

FEMA also offers a breakdown by state, county, or zip code for people to see an estimate of what their policy will change to. To view the rates more in depth, CLICK HERE.

To view how Risk Rating 2.0 will effect Louisiana specifically, CLICK HERE.

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