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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Some flood insurance policyholders began receiving refund checks Wednesday

Some flood insurance policyholders began receiving refund checks Wednesday

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being praised for moving quickly and ahead of schedule to get $100 million in flood insurance premium refunds into the hands of the one million policyholders who “overpaid” under the Biggert-Waters Act that hiked premiums for many last year.

Flood insurance policyholders, up to one million, who overpaid their flood insurance premiums, will begin receiving refunds that average $100. All checks are anticipated to be written by the end of the year.

The refunds are required under the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA), which Congress passed in March in response to complaints about Biggert-Waters reforms. HFIAA backtracks on the fiscal reforms of Biggert-Waters and stops many of the increases, restores the subsidies and mandates refunds for about one million policyholders.

FEMA said the refunds will range from a few dollars to a high of $10,000 or more but the average refund will be $100.

There are several groups of flood insurance policyholders that should see refunds as a result of changes voted by Congress to the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act:
- Those who purchased or reinstated coverage after 2012 and lost subsidies under Biggert-Waters;
- Those policies that increased by more than 18 percent at renewal on or after Oct. 1, 2013;
- Those non-residential building owners in flood zones who saw hikes of 25 percent on or after Oct 1, 2013.

There will be one-time refunds for all those who received hikes over 18 percent.

The overwhelming majority of policyholders did not receive increases over 18 percent, and won't be getting refunds, according to FEMA. Still, Louisiana congressional members estimate that as many as 1 million of the 5.5 million policyholders should expect a refund check.