National Flood Insurance Program Rules Begin May 1
Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties ("pre-FIRM") will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Instead of jumping to "full cost" for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller's Oct-2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.
NAR prevailed upon FEMA to implement this provision seven months early. FEMA also extended the rate relief so all pre-FIRM properties (including the second homes and businesses) will begin paying Oct-2013 rates when they purchase or renew their flood insurance after May 1, including:
ALL buyers of a pre-FIRM property, not just those whose seller has an existing policy;
ALL recent owners who apply for a new flood insurance policy on a pre-FIRM property;
ALL recent owners who reinstate an old pre-FIRM policy that previously lapsed for any reason;
ALL recent owners who renew a policy on a pre-FIRM property bought or newly insured after the 2012 Biggert-Waters law.
While expediting the rate relief, FEMA must still issue refunds to all those who paid more than their Oct-2013 rate. NAR will continue working with FEMA and Congress to quickly issue these refunds to anyone overcharged for flood insurance under Biggert-Waters.
NAR Flood Insurance Resources on the Web
NAR Flood Insurance Webpage
FEMA Bulletin W-14014 (dated April 15th
FEMA Bulletin W-14016 (dated April 24th)
NAR Implementation Survey
NAR Frequently Asked Flood Insurance Questions:
NAR Legal Guidance on what to tell clients
Senate Passes Flood Insurance Affordability Act
On March 13, 2014, the United States Senate voted 72-22 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370). As passed, the bill repeals FEMA's authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law when it arrives at the White House
Rural Communities Protected Through 2020
More than 900 communities that were at risk for losing access to federal rural housing programs are now protected through 2020.
The Governmental Affairs Committee monitors and recommends legislation and public policies affecting the real estate industry. Members in good standing can apply to serve on this Committee. It is the role of the Governmental Affairs Committee to:
*Promote service by REALTOR® members on local boards and/or commissions.
*Organize members and boost responses to MAR and NAR legislative calls-to-action.
*Inform members of NAR's RPAC policies and issues.
*Monitor and review local public policy initiatives that directly or indirectly affect the membership property rights, and affordable housing and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.
*Host legislative events in an effort to maintain communications and rapport with elected officials
For the latest RPAC News, please visit the REALTOR® Action Center
RPAC: Your Best Investment in Real Estate
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS®raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of how important campaign fundraising is to the political process. RPAC doesn’t buy votes. RPAC enables REALTORS® to support candidates that support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood