FEMA Asks Congress for Two-Year NFIP Extension
With the expiration of the current authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) looming, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent a letter to Congress on April 17 asking that it pass a two-year NFIP extension.
The flood insurance program faces its next expiration on May 31. The House and the Senate Banking Committee have passed a comprehensive reform bill (H.R. 1309) that includes a five-year reauthorization. All that remains is for the full Senate to pass it; then a conference would be needed to resolve differences. But so far, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn’t indicated whether he will call the bill up before the flood insurance program expires.
“PIA continues to advocate that the Senate move a comprehensive flood insurance reform bill with a five-year reauthorization, however avoiding another lapse by securing a multi-year extension becomes even more critical as the scheduled May 31 expiration of the flood insurance program draws closer,” said Mike Becker, assistant vice president of federal affairs of PIA National, in comments to the National Underwriter, which noted that PIA joined the American Insurance Association (AIA) and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) in voicing support for more certainty, a five-year extension.
“If the Senate is unable to pass a five-year extension with the many needed reforms in the time remaining prior to May 31, PIA would support FEMA’s request to extend the current program for two years,” he said. “Such a move could avert a serious disruption in the market and provide a measure of stability for the millions of Americans who rely on the continued availability of flood insurance coverage.”
What It Means to Agents: FEMA decided that it was better to act early to secure a multi-year extension for the NFIP, rather than risk expiration. PIA still supports enactment of H.R. 1309 but if the legislative calendar precludes passage, a multi-year extension is preferable to a short extension or allowing the flood program to lapse again.