A law most Americans have never heard of quietly went into effect on October 1, 2013, the same day as the U.S. government came grinding to a shutdown. The law, known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, will roll out over several years. Each year, a portion of the subsidies that keep federal flood insurance premiums artificially low for over 1 million policy holders around the country will be eliminated. Homeowners qualified for the subsidy because their property existed before the initial drawing of flood insurance rate maps. Approximately 20% of all property owners with federal flood insurance receive these subsidies. For example, some homeowners who currently pay approximately $1,000 per year for federal flood insurance will end up paying, after all subsidies are removed, an estimated $8,000 and $9,000 per year for the same policy. Premiums are based on the cost of the...