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Pallone, Pascrell Push Postponement for National Flood Insurance Changes

March 23, 2021
Press Release
Letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas urges transparent and fair process for New Jersey policy holders in update to NFIP

Washington, DC – Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) today sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the National Flood Insurance Program’s Risk Rating 2.0 implementation to be postponed to ensure transparency in the process and fairness for New Jersey policyholders.

“We write to urge you to postpone the implementation of the Risk Rating 2.0 update to the National Flood Insurance Program,” the Members write. “While we appreciated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delayed implementing Risk Rating 2.0 in 2019, numerous concerns we have raised about the impact of implementation on our constituents still have not been addressed. With so many questions left unanswered, the expected implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 for new policyholders on October 1, 2021 and existing policy holders on April 1, 2022 is unacceptable.”

The members continued, “Policyholders cannot suffer from a double-digit rate increase in addition to the fees and surcharges they will be expected to pay under Risk Rating 2.0. Also, any backdoor attempts to remove grandfathered policies would be deemed unacceptable.”

Last Congress, Representatives Pascrell and Pallone led the bipartisan introduction of legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years while instituting a series of sweeping reforms to address the waste, abuse, and mismanagement plaguing the system that led to delayed recovery for Superstorm Sandy survivors. With an eye toward Risk Rating 2.0, the bill protected policyholders from exorbitant premium hikes by capping annual increases at 9%.

The members also sent a bipartisan letter to House Leadership stressing the need for affordable insurance rates in a long-term NFIP reauthorization. Reps. Pascrell and Pallone testified before the House Committee on Financial Services in support of a long-term NFIP reauthorization that is affordable, helps policyholders prior to a storm, updates the claims process, and holds bad actors accountable.

The text of the Members’ letter to Secretary Mayorkas is available here.