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Flood Insurance Reform Could Hurt Residents, Says Senator [AUDIO]

A South Jersey State Senator is asking Congress to reconsider a flood insurance bill that could skyrocket premiums even if Sandy never occurred.

Eddie Saman clears out destroyed household belongings from his flood-damaged Staten Island home
Eddie Saman clears out destroyed household belongings from his flood-damaged Staten Island home (John Moore/Getty Images)

Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ 1) has sent a letter Congressman Frank Lobiondo asking Congress take another look at the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Van Drew says the bill silently passed and has devastating consequences to shore homeowners not only in New Jersey, but nationwide.

He is requesting the House conduct an economic impact study or slow the rate of increase on premiums, noting the bill was originally enacted to help people be able to live along the shore, and the new legislation will price them out.

Stating the bill’s passage allowed flood insurance premium costs to increase as much as twenty five percent.

“And literally by the time they reach their final solution over a number years from two thousand dollars to twenty or thirty thousand dollars.”

While flood insurance has made headlines after Superstorm Sandy, Van Drew says the Flood Insurance Reform Act was passed long before the storm and will only serve to hurt homeowners and businesses already weakened by Sandy.

While homeowners who own their home could be exempt from the Flood Insurance Reform Act, Van Drew says the bill hurts anyone wanting to buy a new home or business along the water.

“Lots of folks of don’t [own their home completely] and they have mortgages or you want to get a mortgage you must get flood insurance. So a program that was supposed to help homes and businesses in coastal communities is really going to hurt them.”

Van Drew wrote a letter to US Reps Frank Lobiondo, Jon Runyan, and Frank Pallone asking them to consider revising the bill after a delegation of South Jersey mayors met with officials in Trenton to discuss the problem of the legislation.

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