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National Flood Insurance Program Extended, But Problems Remain


floodingThe White House on Wednesday signed a resolution that  includes an extension for the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2021. The flood insurance program was set to expire September 30 along with the entirety of continuing resolution HR 8337 [1], which the House passed last week 359 to 57 [2], and which was approved by the Senate in a 84-10 vote [3] yesterday.

Back  in June, as federal agencies collaborated to clarify rules related to flood insurance requirements, [4] revisions to an existing interagency document regarding flood insurance were proposed.

During a review of regulations, the agencies received comments requesting more guidance on renewal notices for forced-plan insurance policies, flood insurance amount requirements, and requirements for tenant-owned buildings and detached structures.

The changes to the interagency document reportedly [5] made it easier for lenders, servicers, regulators, and policyholders to find the sections pertinent to them.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just before the President signed the extension Wednesday, published a response [6] to the government's actions.

"NAR thanks lawmakers for including a one-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program in this Continuing Resolution, but the job is not done," NAR President Vince Malta said. "As the 116th Congress nears its end, the House and Senate are missing a golden, bipartisan opportunity to move meaningful NFIP reform legislation authored by Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry, which addresses the program’s viability and affordability. NAR urges Congress to make long-term reform a priority moving forward."

In May, Brad Turner, National Product Manager, Flood, Burns & Wilcox, spoke to the importance [7] of adequate coverage on a national scale.

"Greater risk distribution is beneficial to everybody, and we’re starting to see legislation that is pushing to allow that to happen,” Turner explained. “The flood insurance market is in a state of transition, where the private market is becoming much more heavily involved. That’s not just the case in the excess space; a lot of private flood insurers are proactively marketing what they can do in comparison with the NFIP, which is great. When there’s healthy competition in a segment, not only does it benefit the consumer, but it also benefits the markets by forcing them to take a step forward, to enhance their underwriting techniques, and to incorporate new methodologies to enhance precision.”