Marshfield: FEMA update – Congress passes FEMA flood insurance delay bill

Marshfield’s town administrator updated selectmen Monday night regarding the Senate’s passage of legislation that amends the Biggert-Waters Act and imposes a cap on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s drastic increases in flood insurance premiums.

The Senate voted 77 to 22 in favor of a measure that caps flood insurance rate increases by no more than 18% a year.

“It does limit rate increases, so there will be some limitation on how much the flood insurance could go up each year. It will repeal the property sales trigger, so it repeals the provisions in the Biggert-Waters Act that required home buyers to buy and pay for the full risk of pre-FIRM properties at the time of purchase,” Marshfield Town Administrator Rocco Longo told the board of selectmen.

Longo said the measure will reimburse homeowners and communities and also calls for the implementation of an affordability study.

“There will be refunds in the new legislation for homeowners who overpaid. My understanding is that will also be for communities that had to spend money on the appeals. I was very happy to hear about that. I’m also happy that it’s going to require the affordability piece to be done and completed, before they make any changes. That’s a significant advantage as well.”

The legislation also reinstates grandfathering.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.