GNO, Inc. Testifies Before Congress on Flood Insurance

Washington, D.C.  – Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht testified before Congress on implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.  The hearing, “Implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012: Protecting Taxpayers and Homeowners,” was held in the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.

“Today’s hearing in the House Financial Services Committee was a significant step forward in the fight for affordable and sustainable flood insurance,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Importantly, representatives from West Virginia to Missouri to California to New York testified that flood insurance affordability is a concern for their districts, and the entire country. We look forward to continuing to expand our coalition and working with Congress to get NFIP reforms right for policy holders across America.”

An excerpt from the testimony highlights that actuarial premiums being quoted do not make sense relative to risk or value of the property, “Finally, the calculations we are seeing simply don’t make actuarial sense.  For example, a homeowner in St. Petersburg, Florida is trying to sell her primary home, which is valued at $250,000, but cannot because the flood insurance premium will escalate from $1,074 per year to $10,872 per year. This home has never flooded.  The question is – if the FEMA Base Flood Elevation is indexed to a 100-year storm, then why is this family being charged a premium that would pay for full replacement every 23 years?  The actuarial calculation doesn’t make sense.”

Click here to read the full testimony.

Since May 2013, GNO, Inc. has organized a growing national coalition of business and elected leaders to address harmful changes to the NFIP, which now represents 200 business and trade associations and local governments in 27 states. As founders of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), the organization works to address drastic ­ and unintended ­ increases to NFIP rates for home and business owners.  A confluence of the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (meant to stabilize NFIP), incomplete FEMA maps and questionable actuarial calculations has led to premium increases of up to 3,000% and more ­ for policy-owners who have never flooded.

About Greater New Orleans, Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana.  The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community.  The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

More information can be found at