WASHINGTON (June 29, 2012) – Reforms passed by Congress today will bring stability and fiscal responsibility to the National Flood Insurance Program, according to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).
"NAMIC has long been an advocate for meaningful reforms to the NFIP, and we’re pleased to see reform legislation finally cross the goal line," said Charles M. Chamness, President and CEO of NAMIC. "For far too long, NFIP reforms were frustrated by partisan politics and personal agendas. Today’s passage of a long-term reauthorization and common-sense reform brings those difficulties to an end, and ensures that Americans will be able to protect themselves against flood losses while reducing the risk to the taxpayer.”
Included in a compromise package of legislation addressing several expiring programs, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 would extend the NFIP for five years and implement a series of reforms that would bring the program close to fiscal soundness, by allowing for flood insurance premiums to better reflect the risk of a loss, updating flood maps and taking steps to mitigate against repetitive losses. The measure is named for Reps. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance.
The legislative package was approved by the House by a vote of 373-52, and in the Senate by 74- 19. The Obama Administration has indicated they will sign the bill into law.
"NFIP reform and long-term reauthorization has long been a source of frustration for the property/casualty insurance industry in Washington, so we are pleased to see bipartisan agreement in an otherwise contentious political environment," said Jimi Grande, NAMIC Senior Vice President of Federal and Political Affairs. "Flood insurance plays an important role in our economy, and the certainty today’s passage creates will help foster the recovery in the housing market and the broader economy."
In recent years, the NFIP has been maintained through a series of short-term extensions, with lapses to the program occurring on numerous occasions. During a lapse, no new flood insurance policies can be written, which causes delays or cancellations for real estate sales in which flood protection for the property is required.
"After years of uncertainty, today’s passage helps bring the National Flood Insurance Program closer than ever to financial stability," said Chamness. "These common sense, bipartisan reforms benefit home buyers and sellers, policyholders, communities and taxpayers."
Contact: Matt Brady
Director of Public Affairs- Federal