Reps. Luria, Garbarino, Dean Introduce Bipartisan Flood History Information Act

September 14, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-02) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04) introduced the Flood History Information Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure potential homebuyer’s have access to a property’s flooding history prior to purchase.

The Flood History Information Act requires the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) to create a database of homes damaged by flooding and share that information with buyers and insurance companies upon request. The data shared would include the location of the insured property, the amount of coverage, dates of loss, and the amount paid on claims.

“As severe flooding becomes more common, homeowners need transparency and the peace of mind that their forever home won’t saddle them with unforeseen costs,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “Flood insurance is expensive, but it’s a reality many homeowners have to face because of climate change and rising sea levels. I hope this legislation is the first step towards reforming flood insurance and protecting homeowners who live in communities at risk of flooding.”

“As part of a coastal community, Long Islanders experience the good and bad of living near the water,” said Congressman Andrew Garbarino. “As wonderful as it is, flooding is a very real challenge that, when it occurs, can be devastating for homeowners. Prospective homeowners deserve to have all of the information when purchasing a home and, by requiring FEMA to collect and share flood history data, homebuyers can make informed decisions about their flood risk and prepare accordingly.”

“This bipartisan legislation gives home buyers the necessary access to the potential flood risk of a potential property which is especially crucial in this rapidly changing climate,” said Congresswoman Dean. “I thank Rep. Luria for her leadership on this issue and strongly support the Flood History Information Act.”

The bill also requires FEMA to provide information on whether the property owner would need to purchase flood insurance due to previous federal disaster assistance and would require FEMA to provide information on the number and dollar value of flood insurance claims filed for a property over the life of the property. This bill would charge a fee for insurance companies to access the flood history database but would not charge a fee for buyers or current owners. This would apply to properties under the NFIP and to private insurance companies who choose to participate in the data sharing agreement with FEMA.

The National Association of REALTORS endorsed the Flood History Information Act.

“REALTORS® applaud Congresswoman Luria for introducing the Flood History Information Act, which will authorize FEMA to disclose NFIP claims data to home buyers as well as owners.  Homebuyers have a right to this information before making purchasing decisions.  This legislation is particularly critical and timely in light of the extensive flooding across the country we’ve witnessed these past several weeks. REALTORS® support the bill and urge Congress to include these provisions in any long-term reauthorization and reform measure.”

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the committee’s Vice Chair, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Homeland Security.