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NFIP extended through Nov. 30

On July 31, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed a bill extending the National Flood Insurance Program through Nov. 30, 2018, without any reforms. Earlier that day, the Senate voted 86-12 to extend the NFIP, following a 366-52 House vote on the same extension several days earlier. The bill prevented the NFIP from expiring July 31 and ensured no lapse in coverage for NFIP policies during hurricane season.

The votes came after concern that members of Congress would delay the necessary extension over demands for reform. In the House, there were worries it would be close, with Financial Services Committee Chairperson Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, opposing the legislation without reforms to the NFIP. The House leadership managed to prevail and passed the clean extension with broad, bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Senate. Similar fears arose when the legislation moved to the Senate. Several senators attempted to block the extension with no reforms, but leadership prevailed to force a vote. The extension received bipartisan support in the Senate and the president promptly signed it, ensuring continuous coverage through the Atlantic hurricane season and any discussion about reforming the NFIP will likely happen after the midterm elections.

While PIA supports the recent short-term extension, the association prefers a long-term extension of the NFIP with needed reforms. Prior to the recent extension, PIA encouraged members of Congress to extend the program until at least 2019, which would allow the legislative body time to find areas of agreement on important reforms.

PIA supports the following reforms to the NFIP: cultivating growth in the private flood insurance market as a complement to the NFIP to provide consumers with more options for broader coverage and a greater range of price points; forgiving the program’s debt; eliminating the noncompete clause in the Write-Your-Own arrangement, which would allow WYO companies to sell stand-alone private flood insurance outside of the NFIP; moving to risk-based rates to make the program more financially sound; continuing to grandfather rates so that properties can be transferred between owners without coverage disruption or surprise; and keeping the WYO reimbursement rate at its current level (30.9 percent), but, if it is cut, advocating for the inclusion of a robust agent commission protection.