Senator Bill Nelson says rising flood insurance rates could be delayed for four years by a new bill

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - New developments in Congress could bring some relief to Tampa Bay area residents concerned about rising flood insurance rates.

Senator Bill Nelson announced Monday afternoon that a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate have reached an agreement on legislation to delay rate increases for millions of consumers.

Last year, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act which sent flood insurance rates skyrocketing.

Some people in the bay area reported the rate jumping from $2,000 a year to $12,000 a year starting on October 1.

"This is great news for Floridians who've been told their flood insurance rates were going up," said Nelson.  "If people cannot afford the coverage, what good will it do?"

The new legislation calls for a four-year delay in most rate increases and requires FEMA, which administers the flood program, to complete an affordability study and propose regulations that address affordability issues.

The bill is expected to be filed Tuesday.  It is not clear when it will go up for a vote.

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