Public invited to meetings on NFIP reform

Public invited to meetings on NFIP reform

WOONSOCKET - City Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Gary Lataille announced this week that there will be important meetings held throughout the state regarding reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program.

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 NFIP, a federal program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through Sept. 30, 2017. The 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 reportedly to eliminate some artificially low rates and discounts for policy holders which are no longer sustainable. This may result in certain types of policies seeing a 25 percent rate increase annually until rates reflect true risk. 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, in coordination with FEMA, will be hosting a series of Insurance Outreach Meetings to help answer questions related to the issues. Current mapping initiatives for coastal communities will also be discussed at these meetings.

Rhode Islanders from all counties are welcome to attend any of the outreach meetings.

The meetings dates and times are as follows:

* Barrington Town Hall Auditorium, 283 County Road, Barrington, Sept. 26 from 4 to 9 p.m.

* Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., Newport, Sept. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m.

* Narragansett Town Hall, Council Chambers, 25 Fifth Ave., Narragansett, Sept. 17 from 4 to 9 p.m.