Bill Would Raise Coverage On Flood Insurance

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Individual coverage limits on flood insurance would be raised to new levels under a bill approved by the House Financial Services Committee. The bill would raise individual coverage under FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program on residences from the current $250,000 to $335,000, and for non-residential properties from $500,000 to $670,000. It would also add to basic coverage money to finance living expenses when someone is flooded out of his home.

The bill would also raise the fines levied to credit unions, banks and other lenders for noncompliance with flood insurance purchase requirements from $350 to $2,000 per incident.

The measure will also increase funding for the flood insurance program for a third time since the massive flooding following Hurricane Katrina last September to $25 billion. FEMA has already paid out $13 billion to New Orleans-area homeowners in flood insurance payments, more than has been paid out in the entire 25 years of the program. The available funding was a mere $1.5 billion before the massive storm.

The bill must now go to the full House for a vote, then to the Senate for action.

The Journal's Ed Roberts can be contacted at eroberts

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