FEMA hit with lawsuit over flood insurance pricing system

Parish takes legal action

FEMA hit with lawsuit over flood insurance pricing system

Insurance News

By Mika Pangilinan

A Louisiana parish has sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over its new pricing system for flood insurance premiums, known as Risk Rating 2.0.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court, claims that the agency has denied public record requests made by the St. Charles Parish related to how rates are being calculated under the new system.

A statement issued Tuesday revealed that the request was made under the Freedom of Information Act last November 2022, as the parish sought information on the model that the agency used to determine rate hikes.  

However, FEMA did not provide any data or documents it used to formulate Risk Rating 2.0, according to the parish.

Parish president Matthew Jewell said they were forced to file the suit after “exhausting all available administrative remedies and seeks to require FEMA to comply with federal law.”

“The residents of St. Charles Parish are seeing huge spikes in flood insurance rates, and we deserve to know why,” he said further. “We deserve transparency on the data being used to determine these astronomical rate increases.”

The St. Charles Parish lawsuit comes after Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that FEMA’s flood insurance pricing formula needs more tweaking than initially expected.

“We are reviewing and need to continue to review the Risk Rating 2.0 given the concerns that have been expressed,” Mayorkas said in a congressional hearing last week, addressing comments from the Homeland Security Committee.

The Department of Homeland Security oversees FEMA, which is responsible for managing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

NOLA.com has reported that FEMA may see further legal action down the line, as Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is said to be preparing a separate lawsuit after he had called the agency’s pricing formula “arbitrary and capricious.”

What are your thoughts on the controversial Risk Rating 2.0? Feel free to comment below.

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