Congress Extends NFIP to Nov. 30
A seventh short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been passed by Congress, this time extending the program, which was set to expire July 31, 2018, until November 30, 2018.
Senate Bill 1182, titled the “National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2018,” was passed by the House of Representatives on July 25, 2018, with a vote of 366-52. The Senate approved the measure on July 31, 2018, 86-12.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has criticized the Senate for its inactivity when it comes to reforming the NFIP. He stated that the House passed an NFIP reauthorization with reforms in November of 2017, but the bill did not make it past the Senate and was therefore not enacted.
“We lost in America 116 lives last year to flooding,” Hensarling said during a debate on the House floor on July 24, 2018. “Billions and billions of dollars of property loss, and yet, we have a program unreformed that incents people to live in harm – incents people to live in harm’s way.”
Hensarling cited testimony heard during Financial Services Committee meetings from individuals who saved hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in flood insurance through private companies. He called the NFIP a “government monopoly” and said that consumers could get more affordable flood insurance through a competitive marketplace.
If the market is opened up, surplus lines flood insurance could be an option for consumers, providing higher coverage limits and more affordable costs.