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Fight over flood insurance shows danger in ‘sweet deals’

A coalition of bipartisan lawmakers gained ground in their attempts to roll back changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act this week.

But despite pulling together bipartisan support to stop insurance premium hikes tied to the national flood insurance program, reform advocates are on edge.

SmarterSafer.org, a group advocating for taxpayers and insurers, says a failure to raise premium rates to account for the true insurance risk has the dual effect of keeping private insurers out of the flood insurance space. They also claim it encourages homeowners to build in flood-prone areas without having to pay for the real risk when obtaining insurance coverage.

The Senate succeeded in passing a bill Thursday that attempts to roll back the recent rate hikes. Still, strong resistance is out there.

"The Senate bill not only fails to address the $24 billion the National Flood Insurance Program owes to taxpayers – it saddles the program with another $2.1 billion in debt,” SmarterSafer said in a statement.

"Fortunately, Speaker Boehner has indicated that he believes modifications to the program – rather than shortsighted delays – is the better way to help Biggert-Waters work for both homeowners and taxpayers. We look forward to working with the Speaker as the House considers its own bill to responsibly reform the flood program in the weeks ahead."

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