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1,400 Real Estate Transactions Per Day Being Delayed Due to Flood Insurance Lapse

Like the oil that continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico, the failure by Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is...
June 30, 2010

Like the oil that continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico, the failure by Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is causing a leak in the nation's real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that for each day Congress delays, 1,400 sales are tied up. Since the flood insurance program expired, some lenders have been willing to accept binders, or promises, to write flood insurance policies as soon as Congress reauthorizes the program. But others are refusing to allow deals to go through without insurance.

This leak in the nation's real estate market was caused by Congress, and only Congress can plug the leak by renewing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

"This is a serious situation and the lack of action by Congress is irresponsible," said PIA National President-elect Brian Marino, co-chair of the PIA National Natural Catastrophe Working Group.

The real problem here is not the NFIP. Renewing it is not controversial. The problem is that the renewal has been part of a tax "extenders" bill (H.R. 4213) that includes an extension of unemployment benefits and other items that are controversial. As long as NFIP renewal is tied to other bills that don't move, NFIP won't move. Also, the death on Monday of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) may change the vote calculus in the Senate at least for a time, until West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin appoints a successor, probably after the funeral.

Meanwhile, a separate bill dealing only with NFIP, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569) passed June 23 in the House. It would extend the flood program through September 30, 2010 and is free of other controversial provisions. Congressional sources say the bill may be taken up in the Senate during the week of June 28.

Grassroots Action Alert on NFIP - Ongoing:  PIA National has sent a letter to congressional leaders, issued a strong press release and activated a nationwide Grassroots Action Alert, all urging that Congress extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) without any further delay.

It is imperative that your Members of Congress hear from you about the importance of extending this vital national insurance program.

Keep the pressure on Congress! Click here to send a pre-written, fully editable message to your Members of Congress on the critical importance of extending this program.

For additional information contact Mike Becker, Director of Federal Affairs at the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) at 703-518-1365 or mikebe@pianet.org.

Flood Insurance Still in Limbo (National Underwriter 6/28/10)
 
PIA's Letter to Senate Leaders on NFIP (6/18/10)

Congress' Flood Lapse Strands Home Sales (Palm Beach Post 6/27/10)

Flood Insurance Gets Harder to Find (Shore News Today NJ 6/23)
(Interview with PIA of New Jersey board member Bill McMahon)

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