obamasignsAs expected, President Obama signed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act on March 21, which extended government flood-insurance subsidies to people in flood zones. Because of the 2012 Biggert-Waters law, many of those people would have seen their flood insurance premiums skyrocket as they were adjusted to accurately reflect the flood risks.

The new law will limit flood insurance premium increases to 18 percent per year, grandfather in homes that complied with previous flood maps (so they won’t be hit with huge increases when new maps come out), and — perhaps most importantly for Realtors — no longer requires an immediate hike in premiums when a home changes ownership.

“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,” said NAR President Steve Brown. “We believe this legislation will bring relief to property owners by ensuring a slow and steady phase in of risk-based increases.”

Click here to read the excellent New Orleans Times-Picayune article on the bill.

And click here to read NAR’s explanation of its position.