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Flood Reform Bill Heads for House Vote

On Tuesday July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309). PIA has...
July 12, 2011

On Tuesday July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309). PIA has endorsed the bill, which provides for a five-year reauthorization of the flood insurance program while making a series of common sense reforms.

The bill's sponsor is Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), chair of the House Financial Services. Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity. The full Financial Services Committee advanced the bill in a unanimous vote.

While most congressional observers expect H.R. 1309 to pass the House overwhelmingly, at least 25 amendments may be offered and voted on. Some of these are technical in nature and many do not directly concern agents. PIA is opposing an amendment by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) which would abolish the NFIP entirely by January, 2012. PIA is also opposing an amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that will remove the optional coverage for business interruption (BI) and additional living expenses (ALE). "Business interruption and additional living expenses are only offered in the private market on a covered peril basis," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker. "Offering these optional coverages under the NFIP strengthens the program and makes it more viable as Congress considers necessary long term reforms."

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said on July 7 that the Obama Administration supports H.R. 1309. OMB has called upon the full House to pass the bill, which it says would "strengthen the NFIP's current financial position and increase its ability to fund future claims."

H.R. 1309 is a good bill that makes many substantive reforms to the NFIP and provides the certainty of a five-year reauthorization which is critical to the stable functioning of real estate markets. The overwhelming support for the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 demonstrates that the need for the NFIP has not diminished.

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