The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies today commended House leaders for passing legislation to extend the authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program and called on the Senate to act swiftly to ensure that the NFIP will not be allowed to lapse.
“During an era of heightened division in Washington, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and ranking member Patrick McHenry should be commended for working on a bipartisan basis to craft legislation that would avoid a lapse of the NFIP,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC. “While passage of this legislation, the 11th short-term extension in under two years, is not the ideal solution, a lapse in the program would be disruptive for the millions of Americans who are still recovering from recent flooding.”
The extension passed by the House would maintain the program through Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. NAMIC is among a coalition that sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging lawmakers to avoid allowing the NFIP to lapse, which they noted would be “devastating to the policyholders across the nation who are already impacted by a series of short-term extensions and are unsure if they will be able to obtain coverage or – significantly – buy or sell properties of all kinds.”
“Preventing a lapse is undeniably important, but it’s also vital that Congress fixes the problems that have left the NFIP billions of dollars in debt to the Treasury while giving policyholders needed long-term certainty,” Grande said. “Chairwoman Waters and ranking member McHenry are putting Americans ahead of politics through their ongoing efforts to craft NFIP reform legislation that will overcome partisan politics and help bring more fiscal stability to the program.”
The short-term measure still must pass the Senate, and Grande urged lawmakers there not to wait.
“Hurricane season begins June 1, one day after the NFIP is now set to expire,” he said. “And as we have seen recently, catastrophic flooding is not limited to coastal areas but can happen anywhere, at any time. The Senate must act to make sure that those who could become victims this year can protect themselves.”