The 13th time. It’s mind-boggling but true. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been extended for a 13th time since it expired at the end of 2017. Of course, and as you know, the extension is just temporary and lasts until December 20th.
What it does is put off the decision on several bills to reform the NFIP.
The Senate’s bill is sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez. Two House bills comes from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and from Rep. Maxine Waters’ Financial Services Committee.
Both Pallone and Waters are Democrats.
The Menendez and Pallone bills will reauthorize the NFIP through 2024. As proposed they lower premium rates, have flood mapping reforms, fraud reforms and they look at ways to stop the severe loss to properties.
The bill passed out of the House Financial Services Committee has grants in it for flood mitigation and ways to prevent flooding and adjusts premium rates.
PIA National and its vice president of government relations Jon Gentile is happy that the NFIP has been extended. However, he — and PIA National — want a permanent solution.
“While this extension of the NFIP is appreciated because it avoids a lapse in the program, it is frustrating for agents and NFIP policyholders that Congress is yet again passing a last-minute, short-term extension of the NFIP, guaranteeing that these stakeholders will return to the brink of lapse in a mere four weeks,” Gentile said.
He pointed to the bill passed by Waters’ committee months ago. It is a five-year extension that has not been acted upon.
“The bipartisan support for the House NFIP legislative package is largely unheard of in the current political climate,” Gentile said. “This legislation should be brought to the House floor and passed and then be considered by the Senate as soon as possible. Never-ending short-term extensions cause confusion and ambiguity for NFIP policyholders, and they are disruptive to the market. The program needs reform, and the House NFIP legislative package includes it. On behalf of consumers and independent agents alike, we implore Congress to act now.”
The president will sign the short extension.
The two bills that have the most chance of getting passed at those of Menendez and Pallone. Both cap premium raises at 9% per year. Currently they can rise as much as 25%.
Source links: PIA National, The Hill, Business Insurance