In 2016, FEMA created the Public Assistance Deductible concept to increase the nation's overall resilience and lessen the need for post-disaster federal assistance. It would require a state to make a predetermined level of financial or other commitment from a recipient before receiving public assistance following a presidential major disaster declaration. As part of the concept, FEMA proposed that states would receive credit toward their deductible requirement through proactive pre-event actions such as undertaking mitigation measures, including the adoption of enhanced building codes.
FEMA issued a supplemental advance notice of proposed rulemaking in January 2017 to create the Public Assistance Deducible. In comments to the agency filed in support of the concept, NAMIC made clear that the adoption and enforcement of standardized and enhanced nationally recognized model building codes would be the most effective strategy for recipients to mitigate disaster-related losses and in turn for states to receive a reduction in the amount of the deductible. NAMIC also voiced support for FEMA's proposals to reduce the deductible faced by states in exchange for states undertaking increased mitigation measures and creating mitigation tax incentive programs.
The concept has received push back from some states and local governments that view the deducible as shifting a financial and administrative burden to local governments already overloaded during disaster situations.
NAMIC supports a disaster deductible concept, which would take important steps to realign the current federal-state post-disaster cost-share. Since the federal government picks up such a large majority of the costs and an increasing share of relief costs, states currently have little incentive to undertake resiliency measures, leaving homes and lives vulnerable to the next storm.