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Senate Passes Flood Insurance Bill

The United States Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, a bill aimed at protecting millions of homeowners from being hit by huge insurance premium hikes.

The bill, H.R. 3370, passed with a 72-22 vote in the Senate, after previously being passed in the House of Representatives on March 4.

The current bill, which now heads to the White House, was in response to the Biggert-Waters Reform Act of 2012, which if not replaced by the current bill, would have caused hikes in insurance premiums that in some cases created insurance bills that were more than mortgage payments.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) said, "I am thrilled the Senate was able to come together in a bipartisan manner today to protect millions of hardworking families across the country from the steep increases in their annual flood insurance premiums."

He continued, "Today's critical action will bring relief for many Americans and Georgians who were facing unaffordable flood insurance premiums that could have caused them to lose their homes and see their home values plummet."

Organizations in the mortgage industry also gave praise for the recently passed bill.

Steve Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said, "As the leading advocate for home and property owners, NAR applauds this bill for the relief and protection it will bring to businesses and families nationwide, who are experiencing financial hardship because of the extreme and sudden premium increases."

Homebuilders also lauded the flood insurance bill.

"By providing a more affordable rate structure for policyholders and repealing point-of-sale rate increases, the bill is a boon for homeowners and homebuyers," said Kevin Kelly, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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