The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverage for over 20,000 communities in the United States, offering flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the NFIP requires Congress to reauthorize, or renew, the program before its expiration date, which was set for today, September 30, 2009. Fortunately, Congress intends to pass legislation late this evening that will extend the program through the end of October 2009, leaving the program intact so that consumers remain protected and policies can continue to be written.
Last Congress, we came very close to seeing a longer-term reauthorization with necessary reforms, whereby Congress would not have to revisit the program every several months. However, that reauthorization was stalled because of two controversial provisions: including wind coverage and the forgiveness of over $18 billion in debt that the program has incurred in recent years. Since the reauthorization of the NFIP stalled, there have been other issues crowding the legislative agenda and so two short-term extensions of the program were passed – the most recent was set to expire today.
NAMIC has fought to see the NFIP reformed in ways that would more appropriately administer the program. However, these reforms have not been part of the short-term reauthorizations we have seen in recent years. Until a full reauthorization bill includes the reforms necessary to make the program more financially and actuarially sound, NAMIC will continue to secure short term extensions of the NFIP, while working with Congress to ensure they take appropriate action to provide a longer-term extension in the future.
For questions, please contact Kathy Mitchell, federal affairs director, 202.580.6744, or firstname.lastname@example.org.