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PIA Applauds Extension of National Flood Insurance Program

PIA has applauded the action taken by Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). On June 30, the U.S. Senate approved the National...
July 7, 2010

PIA has applauded the action taken by Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). On June 30, the U.S. Senate approved the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569), reauthorizing the flood insurance program through September 30, 2010. The House of Representatives passed the extension on June 23. President Obama signed it into law on July 2. This now extends the NFIP through September 30, 2010, and is retroactive to cover the lapse period from June 1, 2010, to the date of enactment of the extension.

"This is yet another short term fix, as Congress has once again kicked the can down the road to September 30, 2010," said PIA National President-elect Brian Marino, co-chair of the association's working group on natural catastrophes, in the National Underwriter. "Although we greatly appreciate the short term extension, Congress has failed to extend the program through the Atlantic hurricane season. With our economy in peril, we cannot have closings held in limbo. The real estate market has again suffered due to this needless lapse in coverage."

"Congress needs to be aware that this program is not an entitlement program and should be handled as a stand-alone bill," Marino said. "For the past year, Congress has chosen to wrap the controversial extension of unemployment benefits into the flood bill. We need to take the politics out of the program." The National Association of Realtors estimated that 1,400 sales were delayed each day that the flood insurance program was in hiatus.

PIA supports the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010 (H.R. 5114), which was passed by the House Financial Services Committee on May 26. It would reauthorize the program for five years and make other reforms, including increasing NFIP coverage limits, phasing in actuarial property rates and phasing out premium subsidies for second and vacation homes and making business interruption and additional living expense coverages available at actuarial cost. H.R. 5114 has yet to pass the full House or advance in the Senate. PIA opposes adding wind coverage to the NFIP and supports forgiveness of the $20 billion debt that the program incurred in 2005 as the result of Hurricane Katrina.

"It's critical that Congress gets away from these short-term extensions and onto a longer proposal," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker, commenting in a front-page article in the Houston Chronicle.

Senate Passes Extension For NFIP (National Underwriter 7/1/10) (PIA quotes)

Flood Insurance Back Under Senate Deal (Houston Chronicle 7/1/10) (PIA quotes)

Congress Extends Flood Program (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel 7/1/10) (PIA quotes)

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