Update of flood-insurance program wins House's vote

Friday, July 16, 2010

The House has voted to overhaul the debt-ridden federal program that provides flood insurance to more than 5 million homeowners and businesses in flood-prone areas.

For more than four decades, the National Flood Insurance Program, an arm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has offered affordable flood insurance to more than 20,000 communities that participate in efforts to reduce flood damage.

But Congress has not updated the program since 1994, and it has been saddled with billions in losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina and population growth in areas at risk of flooding.

The bill takes such steps as permitting an increase in premiums, deductibles and coverage, and phasing out subsidies for vacation homes and for people living in areas repeatedly hit by floods. It now goes to the Senate.

-- Associated Press

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