Congress passes bill to lower flood insurance premiums for at-risk homeowners

New legislation will prevent the increase of flood insurance following natural disasters. (3/14/14)

EAST ROCKAWAY - Thousands of Long Island homeowners living in high-risk flood zones could be getting a break with their flood insurance premiums.

Congress passed a bill Thursday to dramatically roll back flood insurance rates. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

Flood insurance rates skyrocketed after Superstorm Sandy for Long Islanders like Chris Chiaffitelli, of East Rockaway. Chiaffitelli’s rates shot up from $1,700 per year to $4,300.

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“At least we can say that our leaders are attempting to address one of the problems that we have here on Long Island,” he says.

Opponents of the bill like Steve Ellis, of Taxpayers for Common Sense, say lowering rates will not reduce the chance of another storm and its financial consequences.

“We are encouraging people to be in harm’s way and encouraging them to do things that would not reduce their risk,” says Ellis.

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