WASHINGTON (BRPROUD) — Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says he’s calling out FEMA after over a year without response regarding Risk Rating 2.0.

He said he has yet to hear back from FEMA after requesting a briefing in October 2021.

“It has now been over a year and we have yet to receive a response with a time your department would be willing to provide such a briefing,” said Cassidy. “FEMA’s plan to implement the program first and provide details later is causing havoc. It has left policyholders in the dark without the basic information they need to prepare for the future.”

In March 2022, several lawmakers sent a letter to FEMA calling for a delay in the program, writing that they “fear” for their constituents living in low and moderate-income communities.

“Insurance agents in Louisiana tell me that FEMA has not given them the information they need to adequately assist policyholders in navigating the changes to the program,” continued Cassidy. “This uncertainty is damaging and inexcusable. Despite years to plan the rollout of Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA is not meeting its basic obligations to serve my constituents.”

Read Cassidy’s letter below:

In response, FEMA provided the following Thursday to BRProud:

“The Risk Rating 2.0 methodology and data has been available online for over one year for anyone to examine and review,” said David Maurstad, deputy associate administrator, resilience, and senior executive of the National Flood Insurance Program. “FEMA has provided hundreds of Risk Rating 2.0 briefings allowing for thousands of individual touchpoints with key stakeholders since April 2021 including Congress, media, the insurance industry, and others.”

The federal agency said while it supports Cassidy’s call for affordability, it does not have the authority to set rates. Because of this, FEMA said that’s why it sent an Affordability Framework to Congress in 2018 to help policymakers with how they can provide assistance to existing and potential policyholders.

According to FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security submitted 17 legislative proposals to Congress aiming to reform the National Flood Insurance Program in May. Proposed reform included the following principles outlined by FEMA:

  • Ensuring more Americans are covered by flood insurance by making insurance more affordable to low-and-moderate income policyholders.
  • Building climate resilience by transforming the communication of risk and providing Americans with tools to manage their flood risk.
  • Reducing risk, losses, and disaster suffering by strengthening local floodplain management minimum standards and addressing extreme repetitive loss properties.
  • Instituting a sound and transparent financial framework that allows the NFIP to balance affordability and fiscal soundness.

A Louisiana state profile from FEMA states that 20% of policyholders will see immediate decreases under Risk Rating 2.0 while 70% will see less than a $10 per month increase in premiums.

For more information about Risk Rating 2.0, visit fema.gov/flood-insurance/risk-rating.