The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies applauded congressional action today to maintain the National Flood Insurance Program through September 2021 despite the absence of a measure that enacts comprehensive reforms.
“In a year that has seen unprecedented hurricane and tropical storm activity as well as economic turmoil, Congress simply could not allow the NFIP to lapse, and we commend leaders on both sides of the aisle for recognizing that,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC. “With this year-long extension, the NFIP will continue to provide protection to millions of Americans.”
Although the broader government funding included in the continuing resolution runs only through Dec. 11, the NFIP was extended for a full year beyond its Sept. 30 expiration, the longest such extension since 2012 for the program that has been extended on a short-term basis 15 times in just the last three years. The continuing resolution was passed by the Senate Sept. 30 having already been approved by the House. It is expected to be signed swiftly by President Trump.
NAMIC led a coalition of stakeholders, including other insurance organizations as well as housing, construction, real estate, and lending groups, in pressing Congress to include the NFIP extension in the continuing resolution, which Grande said helped secure its inclusion. However, he noted that the program is in dire need of reform to keep it from adding to massive debt and to ensure policyholders are protected.
“Because the NFIP offers artificially low rates in many cases, it has racked up tens of billions of dollars in debt to taxpayers, and because policyholders aren’t told their rates are lower than they should be, it gives homeowners a false sense of security about their risk of flooding,” Grande said. “It’s important to ensure that NFIP policyholders are made whole when flooding strikes, but it’s better to help them prevent those losses in the first place. Bipartisan reform legislation was passed unanimously by the House Financial Services Committee, and yet we’ll be back to square one when the new Congress convenes in January.”
Article Posted: 09.29.20
Last Updated: 09.29.20