Housing Experts Speak Out on the Senate Banking Committee’s Vote to Reform the Nation’s Housing Finance System

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 19, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Yesterday, the Senate Banking Committee voted 13-9 to approved S. 1217, a bill to reform the nation’s housing finance system. The bill winds down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, replacing them with a system whereby a new government entity will issue mortgage backed securities that will carry a government guarantee standing behind prescribed levels of private insurance

IBHS Featured in New Designing for Disaster Exhibit at National Building Museum in Washington, DC

TAMPA - May 8, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is proud to announce that video and photographs from testing conducted at the organization’s unique Research Center are part of the National Building Museum’s newest exhibit, Designing for Disaster, which opens to the public on May 11.

Landrieu: FEMA Fully Repeals Property-Sales Penalty

WASHINGTON - May 7, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) --— After a phone call with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Associate Administrator David Miller today, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has fully repealed one of the most harmful provisions from Biggert-Waters that made it impossible for new buyers of homes or businesses to assume a property’s existing flood insurance policy. The provision, repealed by the Homeland Flood Insurance Affordability Act, had frozen real estate markets throughout the nation and threatened to wipe out the equity thousands of middle class families had built in their homes. Up to 82,000 properties in Louisiana—and 1.1 million nationwide—will benefit from today’s announcement

CFO Jeff Atwater Extends Insurance Helpline Hours to Assist Panhandle Storm Victims

TALLAHASSEE - May 5, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is urging Florida panhandle residents whose homes and property were damaged by recent storms to call the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) for insurance assistance.

Ross, Murphy Introduce Bill to Get Federal Government Out of the Way and Give Homeowners More Options for Flood Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 2, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18) introduced a bill that would encourage the development of a robust private flood insurance market that can offer homeowners options in terms of pricing and coverage. The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2014 would remove excessive restrictions placed on insurance companies by the federal government and would give states more flexibility to license and regulate private flood insurance.

State Insurance Regulators Urge Property Owners to Review/Add Coverage to Protect from Floods & Water Damage

CHICAGO - April 25, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today urged people to prepare and protect their homes from possible flooding. As Illinois communities welcome springtime weather after the significant snowfall during this winter season, potentially heavy rains could result in another rough year for flood-prone areas throughout the state. Spring is a visible reminder of the potential for floods with torrential rain and damaging winds. In 2013 flooding in 49 Illinois counties broke all-time records. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and one of the most expensive

Climate Change Litigation – Will Property Insurers Take the Lead?

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 25, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Common law litigation seeking relief from petrochemical companies for causing climate change has been much touted but little successful.

FEMA to Repeal Certain Flood Insurance Rate Increases

LANGDON, N.D. - April 17, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it is moving forward with repealing certain flood insurance rate increases as required under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, cosponsored by Congressman Kevin Cramer. A bulletin from FEMA directing flood insurance providers to stop charging full-risk rates for all types of Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) properties covered by Section 3 of the 2014 legislation, including primary residences and businesses. Cramer released the following statement on the announcement

FEMA Overview of Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 7, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- This law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted in 2012, and makes additional program changes to other aspects of the program not covered by that Act. Many provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act remain and are still being implemented. While FEMA actively works to implement the new law, we encourage policyholders to maintain and keep current flood insurance policies. FEMA does NOT recommend cancelling a flood insurance policy. Cancelling flood insurance policies now will leave policyholders unprotected during spring flooding and may cause policyholders to lose important discounts on their rate if they reinstate in the future.

Realtors® Applaud Speedy Senate Action on Bipartisan Flood Insurance Affordability Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 17, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown:

Reps. Smith, LoBiondo Push House-Passed ‘Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 12, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) and its importance to thousands of New Jersey homeowners facing steep flood insurance premium hikes was the focus of a press conference today in Ocean City, N.J. where Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) joined Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) to discuss the importance that the bill becomes law.

Care and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $164 Billion VA Budget

WASHINGTON - March 6, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans. The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for healthcare, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs – mostly disability compensation and pensions for Veterans

Realtors® Applaud House Passage of Bipartisan Flood Insurance Affordability Bill

WASHINGTON - March 6, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown

Statement from NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly on Flood Insurance Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 26, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del., issued the following statement on flood insurance legislation pending in the House:

Flood Insurance Bill Increases Danger for Flood Prone Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 19, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The House of Representatives should defeat flood insurance legislation passed by the Senate in January, because it would have the effect of misleading tens of thousands of homeowners concerning their vulnerability to flooding, undermine the flood program’s viability and increase taxpayer costs, according to consumer advocates. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) said the bill (S. 1926) also keeps in place massive and often hidden subsidies even for high-income homeowners looking to live or build in flood prone areas.

Realtors® Optimistic as Senate Moves to Consider Flood Insurance Rate Relief Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 28, 2014 - (RealEstateRama) -- The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown:

ConsensusDocs Releases Industry First Design-Build Joint Venture Agreement and a Teaming Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 9, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- Today, ConsensusDocs released a new Design-Build Joint Venture Agreement and a new Teaming Agreement. As the first industry standard joint venture for design-build, the document fills an important need. Constructors, architects and engineers are increasingly using joint venture relationships on projects utilizing the design-build project delivery method. Many potential joint venture relationships, which can be filled by constructors, design professionals or multiple permutations of those parties can use this new contract document. The new document helps parties address issues such as licensing and insurance requirements, as well as risk allocation issues. The new Teaming Agreement helps parties memorialize roles and responsibilities in submitting a project bid or proposal.

FHFA Announces Overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage Insurance Master Policy Requirements

Washington, DC - December 2, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed the first major overhaul of mortgage insurance master policy requirements in many years. FHFA’s 2013 Conservatorship Scorecard calls for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop aligned requirements for master policies

Actual Cash Value Must Be Defined When Appraising Properties for Insurance Purposes: The Appraisal Journal

CHICAGO, IL - November 27, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- The relationship between actual cash value and fair market value needs to be clearly defined by real estate appraisers called upon to develop an opinion of value for insurance purposes, especially in legal situations between the insurer and insured, according to an article published last week in The Appraisal Journal.

Secure your home before hitting the road for the holidays

Columbus, OH - November 20, 2013 - (RealEstateRama) -- As 93.3 million Americans prepare to travel to visit loved ones or go on vacation this holiday season, Nationwide Insurance wants to ensure consumers are taking the proper precautions to protect their homes and belongings while they are away