GNO, Inc. Letter of Support for H.R. 3370

To: Members of the House of Representatives
From: Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, Inc. on behalf of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance
Re: Support for H.R. 3370, The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

Dear Members of the House of Representatives:
The Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance supports the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act and urges its passage. The legislation achieves many of the most important goals of our Coalition by protecting both property owners who have played by the rules and settling real estate markets, while preserving the intent to offer flood insurance at true risk rates.

The legislation ensures that flood insurance will remain affordable for those who have built to code at the time of construction. It also removes the property sales trigger, which will provide a sense of security to the real estate market and treat both current property owners and potential purchasers equally. The legislation includes several other positive provisions that our coalition supports, including increasing the home improvement threshold, reimbursing policyholders for successful map changes, preserving the basement exception, addressing problems relating to escrow accounts for policy holders, and refunding policyholders who purchased pre-FIRM homes after the enactment of the Biggert-Waters Act and subsequently paid higher rates. The legislation is paid for by small fees on policies that are not at full risk rates.

Our coalition supports a fiscally sound, actuarially responsible NFIP that communicates to citizens their true flood risk. We do not support perverse incentives for building in harm’s way, nor do we support the continued subsidization of severe repetitive loss properties. However, we must protect property owners who have built as their government told them. With this in mind, we have a dual goal: to find an immediate solution to the unintended consequences of Biggert-Waters; and, to develop a long-term solution that works for America. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act sets us on the path to accomplishing that.
For these reasons, we urge passage of this legislation.

Michael Hecht
President and CEO

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