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WASHINGTON -- President Obama has signed a new law that will give hundreds of thousands of homeowners living in flood-prone areas relief from big jumps in insurance costs.

Lawmakers from both parties supported the measure in response to angry homeowners who faced sharp premium hikes after an overhaul of the government's flood insurance program two years ago.

The 2012 rewrite was aimed at weaning those in flood-prone areas off of subsidized rates and required extensive updating of the flood maps used to set premiums. But its implementation left homeowners along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in flood plains facing unaffordable rate increases.

The new law scales back caps flood insurance premium increases at 18 percent a year in most cases.

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