WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A bipartisan agreement has been reached between House and Senate leaders that will delay federal flood insurance program changes that would have resulted in huge spikes in premiums for homeowners, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

The new bill requires regulators to address the affordability of flood coverage hikes before implementing such hikes. The bipartisan bill fixes the National Flood Insurance Program which was set to be altered under the Biggert-Waters Act.

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The Biggert-Waters law was an attempt by Congress to reduce the debt load of the NFIP. The plan was to force rate hikes on homeowners to bring the flood insurance costs in line with true market rates in flood-prone areas.

But, that would have seen some residents paying tens of thousands of dollars more by taking away the government subsidies that helps lower prices to a manageable limit.

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The new bill, according to the Herald, calls for a four-year delay in most flood insurance rate hikes and the aforementioned affordability study. The Herald reported that once the affordability study is completed, FEMA will propose regulations within 18 months of completion and establish a six month moratorium for Congressional review.

The Herald reported the delay would apply to “primary, non-repetitive loss residences that are currently grandfathered; all properties sold after July 6, 2012; and all properties that purchased a new police after July 6, 2012, among other changes.

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