Flood Program Rates Draw Scrutiny Across the Southeast
Florida Governor Rick Scott and others have encouraged Congress to defer implementation of rate adjustments for the federal flood insurance program. Senators from several states, including Florida, introduced legislation this week trying to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, which prompts the increases, for a year. Now, the Mississippi Department of Insurance has taken the added step of suing the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The lawsuit points to provisions in the Biggert-Waters act causing the updating of flood zone maps. Mississippi believes it is disadvantaged in this process because Mississippi and Louisiana are the first states to include post-Katrina statistics in the rating methodology. The lawsuit also alleges that FEMA has not complied with its obligation to deliver an affordability study to Congress, which it believes should negate its ability to implement the rate adjustments.