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Bill Would Protect Long Islanders From Paying More For Flood Insurance

Steven Senne

U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Andrew Gabarino (R-NY) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would help protect Long Island homeowners from increased premiums that are included in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The legislation would provide an analysis of new flood insurance rates at least six months before any changes can be made to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s program.

The bill would also prohibit changes to FEMA’s flood-risk assessment during and after the COVID-19 emergency declaration.

Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program include a new flood risk rating system to calculate new flood insurance premiums based on several factors such as heavy rainfall, frequency of flooding and elevation. That could increase bills of up to $20 a month.

Rice said Long Island homeowners "cannot be burdened with more expensive flood insurance premiums,” and Garbarino is hoping this bill will “ensure that no premium increases will go into effect while our community is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.”