The NFIP has been reauthorized through November.
By Michael V. Cusenza
A week after the House of Representatives passed legislation to establish an extension of the beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program through hurricane season (Nov. 30), the Senate followed suit, voting Tuesday to reauthorize the insurance option for four more months. The deadline to extend was 11:59 p.m. July 31.
As expected, many advocacy organizations embraced of the last-minute, 120-day lifeline, while also renewing the call for true, substantive reform of the program that at last peek was $25 billion in the red.
“Congress should use the next four months to finally reform the program that has cost taxpayers almost $40 billion dollars,” SmarterSafer, a coalition of conservation groups, taxpayer advocates, insurance interests, and housing and mitigation experts said in a statement. “Leaders in Congress should not continue to allow short-term extensions that reinforce the status quo, but should pass a comprehensive legislative package that addresses the NFIP’s financial insolvency and better protects the environment and people in harm’s way.”
Last month, the coalition fired off a letter to Senate leaders demanding a long-term overhaul of the beset program.
According to SmarterSafer, any long-term reauthorization “must prioritize reforms that promote mitigation against the threat of flooding, update and improve antiquated flood-risk maps and ensure full communication of flood-risk data to communities and home-buyers. Congress must also empower consumer choice in the marketplace by clarifying that private flood insurance is an alternative to the one-size-fits-all NFIP. These reforms will re-establish solid financial footing for the NFIP and contribute to a smarter, safer and more robust system of flood insurance to protect the people and property in the path of severe weather events.”