By the time you read this everything could have changed. On Friday the seven-day extension passed by both the House and Senate to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires. December 7th is also the same day Congress has to pass a continuing resolution to continue to fund most of the rest of the federal government.
Some parts have of the budget have been agreed upon and have been extended into 2019. The NFIP has not. However, the Senate did — on a voice vote — pass a six-month reauthorization. It will last until May 31, 2019
There is a chance the House will go along with the Senate’s decision. But this is where the opening statement of this story comes into play. If the House does go along then we have another six-months before the expiration and short extension game starts anew.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana sponsored the six month extension. He said he’s going to go to work in the House to see if he can get the job done. He noted that more than five-million Americans get flood insurance through the NFIP and he is “frustrated with the inefficiency in Washington that is causing us to extend the program again without long-term reforms, but families deserve to be protected.”
In a statement PIA National said it supports Sen. Kennedy’s bill. “We support Senator Kennedy’s effort to extend the program through May and will support any effort to extend the program into 2019 that gives the new Congress time to find agreement on a long-term reauthorization of the program. We will continue to work with Congress to achieve this in the coming days,” PIA National said.
One of the conflicts some in Congress have with the NFIP is the fact that tax-subsidies are being used to rebuild and repair flood damaged homes that have been rebuilt several times.
Records at the NFIP managing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) show that close to 37,000 properties from the East Coast to California have been rebuilt not just once but several times. Some have been done dozens of times. Those same FEMA records show 18,000 of those homes are currently covered by NFIP policies and 15,000 haven’t done the work to reduce the risk of future flood damage.
Here’s another problem. At the beginning of the current hurricane season, nearly $7.4 billion of the $20-plus billion that the NFIP is in debt is from repeat claims.
Louisiana — Sen. Kennedy’s state — has the most repeatedly flooded properties over the last 40-years. It accounts for 23% of the NFIP’s total claims.
PIA National supports a long-term renewal of the NFIP and is working with members of Congress to support legislative solutions to create sensible options for growing the private flood insurance market, promoting flood risk management policies, transitioning to risk-based rates and reforming the NFIP.
Source links: Insurance Journal, Business Insurance America