NAMIC: NFIP Funding will help Recovery for Sandy Victims, Building Codes Legislation will Help Victims of Next Natural Disaster
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies applauded the House of Representatives and Senate for acting today to extend the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program, providing funding to pay claims related to Super Storm Sandy.
"Today's actions by the House and Senate will help ensure that the National Flood Insurance Program, and the federal government, keeps its promise to tens of thousands of flood insurance policyholders," said Jimi Grande, Senior Vice President of Federal and Political Affairs for NAMIC.
Without the added borrowing, the NFIP was expected to exhaust its resources for paying claims sometime during the week of January 7. Had Congress failed to act, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the NFIP, has said that payments on more than 115,000 claims would have been delayed.
"Failing to provide the needed funding for NFIP claims would only have added to the hardships being endured by victims of Super Storm sandy, and we applaud Congress for acting swiftly pass this needed extension of the NFIP’s borrowing authority," Grande said.
Congress will also debate additional relief measures for Sandy victims later this month, and Grande urged lawmakers to not only help those recovering from this storm, but take the opportunity to prepare for the next one.
"As we help the victims of Sandy recover, it's also important that Congress consider what can be done to prepare for the next storm,” Grande said. “With every dollar of federal spending subject to scrutiny, studies have shown that every dollar of spending on disaster mitigation equates to four dollars in savings from reduced losses. Strong building codes have repeatedly been shown to be the most effective and efficient means of reducing losses from storms, and Congress can help encourage their use by including the Safe Building Code Incentive Act in the broader Sandy relief package to be considered later this month."
The Safe Building Code Incentive Act creates an incentive for states to adopt and enforce minimum safety standards in construction statewide. According to the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, stronger building codes would have reduced the wind damages in that state from Hurricane Katrina by 80 percent, and a study conducted by Milliman last year found that the federal disaster aid spending would have been reduced by $11 billion had the Safe Building Codes Incentive Act been in place during the past 25 years.
"As we help the victims of Sandy recover, Congress can also start helping the victims of the next catastrophe by encouraging stronger, safer building codes," Grande said.
Contact: Matt Brady
Public Affairs Director - Federal Affairs