Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On Dec. 21, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authorization to May 31, 2019.
Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on May 31, 2019.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives voted and passed a bill to give a short extension on NFIP through Sept. 30 – the end of the fiscal year.
The current NFIP program keeps getting extended with short-term extensions. We watched Congress do very similar extensions (at the last minute) in 2018 as well. The reason is apparently to buy more time while sponsors work to complete on a long-term, proposed bipartisan compromise.
Steve Scalise (R-La.) praised the passage and stressed the importance of ensuring the program remains up and running ahead of hurricane season.
While these short-term patches are necessary to guarantee certainty for policyholders, we must do more. I will continue working with members on both sides of the aisle toward a long-term reauthorization of NFIP that focuses on affordability, improved mapping and mitigation, protects taxpayers, and encourages more choices so families can have options when buying flood insurance.
The Senate signaled Tuesday it’s closing in on a deal on disaster relief. It officially remains unclear whether it will include an extension of the NFIP, but I would expect it to do something on flood.
What’s does this mean for policyholders?
Perhaps the best advice for someone who is unsure is to buy the flood policy. It’s May – an important time of year. Hurricane Season has not started and it’s time to buy flood insurance if you would like a little more piece of mind for your home or small business. Floods have happened in the strangest places in the last five years. Whether you are coastal or not, whether you have a mortgage or not, I strongly encourage the purchase of a flood insurance policy. Because along with the peace of mind also comes less of an insurance battle should you be impacted by a catastrophe that imposes two perils.
Once we know more plans from Congress, we will post an update.