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SUBJECT: Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30, 2017. The NFIP is a federal program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The NFIP reauthorization included a number of reforms aimed at making the program more financially and structurally sound, some of which have already started to affect NFIP policy holders in the state. The intent behind the new legislation was to eliminate some artificially low rates and discounts for policy holders which are no longer sustainable. The new law aims to reflect full risk and phase out subsidized rates for certain types of policies including: a. Non-primary/secondary homes b. Businesses c. Properties which have sustained severe or repeated flooding

The law is also calling for a phase-out of discounts and grandfathered rates and a move to risk-based rates when policy holders get re-mapped into a high risk area. This phase-out will take place in 20-percent increments annually over the course of five years and is expected to begin in 2014.

Due to the nature of these changes and the number of Rhode Islanders that may be affected by these reforms, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be hosting a series of Insurance Outreach Meetings to help answer questions related to these issues. Current mapping initiatives for coastal communities will also be discussed at these meetings.

The meetings locations, dates and times are as follows:

Kent & Providence County - August 28, 2013 Warwick City Hall Council Chambers 3275 Post Road Warwick 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Newport County - September 10, 2013 Newport Public Library 300 Spring Street Newport 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Washington County - September 17, 2013 Narragansett Town Hall Council Chambers 25 Fifth Avenue Narragansett 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Bristol County - September 26, 2013 Barrington Town Hall Auditorium 283 County Road Barrington 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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