Homeowners who were temporarily prevented by federal regulations from passing along their flood insurance policy if someone bought their homes finally can breathe a sigh of relief.
The National Flood Insurance Program had implemented a host of changes to the program under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act passed in 2012. Those changes threatened to cast coastal economies into chaos by making it much more difficult to buy property.
Fortunately, Congress and President Obama came to a bipartisan agreement to end the most devastating parts of the new law.
The NFIP, though, kept in place the prohibition against transferring flood insurance policies from buyers to purchasers of real estate. Now the program has announced it is finally ending this terrible practice.
Congress has helped right what was going to be a terrible wrong. Members finally succeeded in building a powerful coalition that crossed political aisles and fixed a problem that was far more threatening and dangerous than many across the nation even realized.
FEMA, though, is still tasked with refunding the huge insurance fees it charged homeowners under the brief tenure of Biggert-Waters before its most onerous provisions were repealed.
FEMA owes the people and businesses that have paid more than they should have for flood insurance coverage a speedy refund.
Looking ahead, Congress needs to address the long-term viability of the flood insurance program, enacting fair reforms that will allow the program to continue operation without disruption or drastic changes to the many Americans who depend on it.
Until that happens, though, any relief we might feel can only be temporary.
— From the Jacksonville Daily News