Congress has reached agreement on amending the Biggert-Waters Act for flood insurance reform.  A key component is that houses built to code at the time of construction will be grandfathered, so that they are protected from rate spikes due to new mapping.  AND, the protection stays with the property and not the policy.

Congress has reduced FEMA's authority to increase premiums.  There is now an annual cap of 15% for a property class and up to 18% for a specific property.

Another item that Congress has addressed is that the bill has removed the sales trigger - which allows a purchased to take advantage of a phase in.  The new purchased is now treated the same as the property owner and the premiums cannot spike when the property changes hands.

For specific details on how the new legislation, which will go into effect as soon as the President signs the bill, contact your local insurance agent.

Hopefully, this bill will stabilize the real estate market for older houses built in flood zones and eliminate the uncertainty that was created when Congress initially passed the Biggert-Waters Act a couple years ago.