Flood insurance program needs reauthorization
Monday, November 12, 2018
Millions of small business and home owners currently depend on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect their property against flooding, the most costly and common natural disaster in the United States. To continue providing flood insurance after November 30, 2018, Congress must reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before that date.
Without the NFIP, more property owners could become uninsured. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in more than 20,000 communities nationwide.
The National Association of Realtors supports reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run. In addition to long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, NAR supports improving flood map accuracy.
Policyholders in over 22,000 communities across the country depend on the NFIP to protect homes and businesses from flooding. Without the reauthorization, the NFIP cannot issue new policies or renew existing residential or commercial policies that expire. That is bad for consumers and potential homebuyers, as well as the broader economy. When the NFIP last expired, NAR estimated that 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result. That is 40,000 sales every month.
Although the National Flood Insurance Program has been extended through Nov. 30, it is in need of reforms that will make it solvent and sustainable in the long term. The National Association of Realtors will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year, according to officials.
Despite years of debate and proposals to fix the program, reforms have stalled. Instead, Congress has passed six short-term extensions of the program. Lawmakers also let the program lapse in 2017 and 2018. The House passed legislation with reforms more than a year ago; the Senate has yet to do so.
In July 2018, Congress avoided a lapse in the federal flood insurance program. After the House voted to temporarily reauthorize the program, the Senate voted 86-12 to extend authorization for the program by four months to Nov. 30. The reauthorization did not include any reforms.
“Although the National Flood Insurance Program is currently authorized through November, the National Association of Realtors remains focused on ensuring Congress and the White House enact long-term reauthorization and reforms to strengthen the program’s sustainability.” National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall said in a statement.
Mendenhall said Congress and the president need to act before the flood insurance program expires.