National Flood Insurance Program Gets Reprieve, But What Next?
The U.S. government has avoided another shutdown and refunded the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through December 20. The NFIP is set to expire on November 21. The House of representatives passed the resolution in a 231 to 192 vote.
“I am pleased that we are keeping government open, assuring full funding for a fair and accurate Census, and ensuring a pay raise for our military,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “Even with passage of this CR, American families, businesses, and communities need the certainty of full-year funding. Only by coming together in good faith can we settle subcommittee allocations and enact responsible, full-year spending bills that invest in critical priorities.”
The vote is a short term extension as a full vote is expected soon.
“Although it is unfortunate that we must continue to rely on short-term extensions, the [the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America] thanks the House of Representatives for voting to extend the NFIP through Dec. 20,” said Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America SVP of external, industry, and government affairs Charles Symington in a statement.
Stewart goes on to note the importance of completing an extension and avoiding a lapse.
“A lapse in the NFIP could impact the ability of the program to promptly pay claims if there is a major flooding event, delay recovery efforts related to catastrophic storms and disrupt real estate markets across the country,” Stewart adds.
According to WMBF News, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds in the event of a lapse. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation.
This short-term extension ensures policy holders will be able to renew their coverage and real estate agents won’t face an interruption while closing home sales.
“In the last two years alone, they’ve had 12 extensions and in the last two years they’ve had some of the biggest payout years,” said Jeremy Jenks, VP of sales for the Trembley Group of Keller Williams. “So, the program is quite a few billion dollars in debt and I saw different estimates on it, but lots of billions of dollars in debt and I think what’s happening is Congress knows that they need to do something about this, but they’re not sure what to do and there is a bill in the Senate that would update the NFIP, but they just haven’t gotten there yet.”