WASHINGTON – The Houma Courier-Thibodaux Daily Comet highlighted efforts by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) to secure a hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with Louisiana voices in Washington D.C. The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing today on the NFIP and touch upon Cassidy’s comprehensive legislation to reform and reauthorize the program.
“The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing reauthorizing and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program on Jan. 25, after it was pushed for by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA,” wrote the Daily Comet.
“A bill authored by Cassidy, the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2023, would reform portions of the flood insurance program, such as reducing the annual increase in price, and creates oversight into how policies are handled. It also adds more oversight into how insurers write policies for customers,” added the Daily Comet.
WHAT: U.S. Senate Banking Committee Hearing on NFIP
WHEN: Thursday, January 25
10:00 am ET / 9:00 am CT
WITNESS: Mr. Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, Inc.
LIVESTREAM: Watch Live Here
Congressional Committee to Hear Testimony from Louisiana on Effects of FEMA Flood Insurance
By: Colin Campo
“One Louisianan and potentially more will speak to a Congressional committee about rising flood insurance costs.
“The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing reauthorizing and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program on Jan. 25, after it was pushed for by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA…
“Greater New Orleans Inc. President Michael Hecht will testify on how the flood insurance is impacting Louisiana. Other people have been proposed, but it is unclear who else will get to speak.
“‘It will give them an opportunity to tell Americans what Louisianans have been telling me for years,’ Cassidy said. ‘That Biden’s Risk Rating 2.0 is crushing them and will crush people in any state which has a need for flood insurance.’
“A bill authored by Cassidy, the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2023, would reform portions of the flood insurance program, such as reducing the annual increase in price, and creates oversight into how policies are handled. It also adds more oversight into how insurers write policies for customers.
“Under the current National Flood Insurance Program risk rating models, known as Risk Rating 2.0, the average total increase to Lafourche will be 321%, and for Terrebonne, 305%. The hardest hit parish is Plaquemines, which will see a 545% increase. These increases are not immediate but will continue to increase yearly by 17.9%. Cassidy’s bill proposes reducing the 17.9% limit set by law to 9%.
“‘The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that roughly 900,000 policy holders will drop out of the program in the next 10 years because of Risk Rating 2.0 mapping,’ Cassidy said.
“Ten states, 43 parishes, 12 levee boards and more banded together last year to sue FEMA over the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0. Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill, who was then Solicitor General, filed a preliminary injunction to halt the rollout of the program until the lawsuit played out. She argued it was causing irreparable damage to Louisiana.
“Representatives for FEMA argued that they did not have to provide affordable flood insurance rates, and that irreparable damage had not been proven. U.S. District Court Judge Darrel J. Papillion has not yet ruled on the injunction.”
Last year, Cassidy reintroduced his National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act to reauthorize the program for five years, providing greater stability for homeowners, small business owners, and the real estate market as the nation continues to struggle with inflationary pressures. It will also implement a series of sweeping reforms to reduce costs, make generational investments in communities to reduce flood risk, and establish a fairer claims process for policyholders. He participated in a roundtable hosted by GNO, Inc. and the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance before introducing the bill to hear from community leaders and advocates on the issue.
Last February, Cassidy delivered a speech on the U.S. Senate floor demanding the Biden administration halt massive hikes to National Flood Insurance Program premiums caused by Risk Rating 2.0. He continues to call out President Biden – who can stop the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 with the stroke of his pen.
The NFIP-RE Act of 2023 has been met with an outpouring of support including New Orleans Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sandra Lindquist, Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp, Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge President and CEO Karen Zito, Greater New Orleans, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht, Restore and Retreat Executive Director and State Representative Joseph Orgeron, Lafourche Parish President Hon. Archie Chaisson, III, St. Tammany Corporation CEO Chris Masingill, Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District President Tony Alford, Northshore Home Builders Association Executive Officer Amy Ybarzabal, and National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. Here’s what people are saying.
In February 2022, FEMA publicly acknowledged an internal study finding that the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could cause 20% of policyholders to drop out of the program due to skyrocketing premiums. Learn more here.