Warren bill aimed at reducing flood insurance premiums passes House

HARRISBURG, April 30 – State Rep. Perry Warren’s bill to create the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force in Pennsylvania unanimously passed in the House of Representatives.

This task force would be charged with combating rising premiums faced by owners of properties in flood zones. The task force would make recommendations on programs that offer premium discounts or incentivize local governments to support flood mitigation efforts, and spearhead necessary changes to the administration of flood insurance.

Warren explained that flood zones can shift. Homebuyers initially may not be required to purchase flood insurance. Then, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency updates its flood maps, homeowners may find themselves in a newly defined flood zone.

“Flood insurance can be a financial burden, as of course can being flooded,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “The insurance cost increases the overall cost of buying and maintaining a home.”

Pennsylvania ranked eighth in the country for the most flood insurance payouts between January 1978 and March 2011, totaling $773 million, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Water and our waterways are great natural resources,” Warren said, “but they pose a flooding risk, and our communities here in Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania will benefit from this task force and its efforts to mitigate both flooding and flood insurance costs.”