Mass. Bill Seeks To Soften Flood Insurance Rules

This article is more than 8 years old.

The state attorney general and House speaker have filed legislation that could soften the impact of new federal flood insurance rules on some Massachusetts homeowners.

The proposal would tie the level of flood insurance that must be purchased to a homeowner's outstanding mortgage balance, rather than the full replacement value of the home.

Homeowners could still purchase additional insurance.

Attorney General Martha Coakley and House Speaker Robert DeLeo said Wednesday that enormous spikes in compulsory flood insurance premiums resulting from new federal rules that took effect Oct. 1 are having a devastating impact on many coastal residents.

The changes, which included a redrawing of flood zone maps, were approved by Congress last year in an effort to keep the debt-ridden National Flood Insurance Program solvent.

The state's congressional delegation has already called for delaying the new rules.

“We do not believe the increased consequences of global warming and extreme weather should be borne by those least able to afford it,” the delegation wrote in a letter late last month, according to The Patriot Ledger.

Coakley echoed that delay call Wednesday in a press release.

"We continue to urge the federal government to delay implementing these changes until they’ve followed all the steps required by law," Coakley said. "In the meantime, this state legislation can help mitigate the impact of these costs on families and businesses."

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on October 16, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.



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