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Congress Looks to Extend National Flood Insurance Program Deadline to December 16th
FEMA´s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) once again faces expiration or extension as the current continuing resolution expires November 18th.
House and Senate appropriators took steps to extend Friday´s deadline by tying a continuing resolution to the H.R. 2112 minibus appropriations bill to fund government operations, which includes funding for the NFIP. If passed as expected this week, the extension will allow FEMA to issue new flood insurance policies through December 16th.
If the extension is not passed, 20,000 communities across the United States will find themselves in flux regarding flood insurance, protection against flood losses and disaster assistance through the Federal Government. During the last 53-day lapse in 2010, the NFIP was unable to issue new or renewal policies to an estimated 5.7 million policy holders in the United States, but continued to pay claims. The lapse also delayed real estate closings.
In July, the House passed The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309) by a vote of 406 to 22 to reform the original 1968 NFIP Act, modernize the content and extend the NFIP through September 30, 2016. This bill also would raise the annual limit on flood insurance premium increases from 10% to 20%.
However, the Senate also has created a long-term extension bill, “The Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act”, which passed through the Senate Banking Committee September 8th but no further action has been scheduled to pass their version of the bill. According to a recent article in PropertyCasualty360, the Senate has stalled the NFIP´s extension so they can utilize the bill as “an engine to deal with issues not related to the NFIP.”