CSFI Participates in NFIP Roundtable with Representatives Steve Scalise and French Hill
U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (LA) hosted a Risk Rating 2.0 roundtable discussion with Representative French Hill (AR), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance. The roundtable was held in Jefferson Parish on October 31, 2022 to hear from stakeholders throughout Louisiana, including Parish Presidents and regional leaders in insurance, banking, oil and gas, flood protection, and construction.
CSFI’s Michael Hecht participated at the event; he expressed coalition members’ experiences and the continued need to for more information on the methodology. In total, expressing wide-ranging concerns about Risk Rating 2.0’s impacts on communities and potential oversights. continued difficulties in understanding the ability to effectively mitigate and lower premiums. Representative Scalise reiterated the need for greater transparency from FEMA in a subsequent press conference, viewable on YouTube. Representative Hill noted a desire for a longer-term reauthorization, on a census basis, to provide certainty for the program.
Louisiana Parish Presidents shared remarks as well. Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng commented that over 3,000 policyholders have already dropped coverage in Jefferson Parish due to affordability challenges. Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson discussed NFIP premiums hindering Hurricane Ida recovery, in the recruitment and retention of businesses and residents. Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller underscored that NFIP policyholders are primarily working class people, rather than owners of second homes. Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine highlighted confusion that improved flood protection, including over $783M in federal investment from the Army Corps to raise levees, were not lowering flood insurance premiums. St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper emphasized that citizens are looking for answers, as flood maps no longer indicate insurance rates.
Furthermore, on November 2, Senator Bill Cassidy (LA) sent a letter to FEMA. In the letter, written a year after Risk Rating 2.0’s rollout for existing policies, Senator Cassidy asks FEMA to be more transparent with Congress and constituents by releasing full risk rates. Senator Cassidy states that, “We know Risk Rating 2.0 will hurt millions of Americans. Withholding the true damage that is set to befall them will only make things worse.” Read the full letter here.