NAFCU called on Senate leaders to delay scheduled rate hikes under the National Flood Insurance Program until the Federal Emergency Management Agency completes its affordability impact study and Congress is able to review the findings.
"Failure to act in this regard could mean that premiums will skyrocket for many Americans struggling in these uncertain times," wrote Brad Thaler, senior lobbyist for NAFCU, in a letter delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"Furthermore, various local housing markets could face drastic negative impacts. New premiums could be unaffordable to many, dropping home values in a tenuous economy."
Last week a bipartisan group of 10 senators also urged the Senate leaders to delay the rate hikes, which will average 10% for policies written or renewed on or after Oct. 1. "We have serious concerns about the sharp rate increases included in [the 2010 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act] that could render flood insurance unaffordable and unattainable for up to 4 million homeowners and businesses nationwide," wrote the senators.
"Although these homeowners and businesses built to code and played by the rules, their premiums could go up from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars because of the rate reforms included in Biggert-Waters," the senators noted.
NAFCU's Thaler said his group is "already hearing reports from our member credit unions that these impacts are beginning to materialize, so any action on this matter must be timely."