The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for another 60 day period. This comes after the Senate had passed the same measure last week. The program, which was set to expire tomorrow, prevents a disruption in the provision of flood coverage to more than 5.6 million American households.
Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America spoke on behalf of the IIABA regarding this latest development.
“The Big ‘I’ commends the House and Senate for passage of this 60-day extension in order to prevent an expiration of the NFIP. We urge President Obama to sign this legislation into law before the scheduled expiration tomorrow.”
The IIABA notes that the 60-day extension legislation also contains one policy provision that would remove subsidies granted to second homes and vacation homes by the NFIP. “This provision was included in order to ensure the measure gained unanimous consent in the Senate and is also a part of the long-term extension and reform bills in the House and Senate, both of which the Big “I” strongly supports.”
The Property Casualty Insurers Association (PCIAA) also applauded the decision and issued this statement:
“We are pleased that the House voted to concur with the Senate’s 60-day NFIP extension,” said Ben McKay, senior vice president of federal government relations for PCI. “However, this only delays the fundamental debate over the future of the flood insurance program. We remain hopeful that the Senate will schedule floor time for their long-term NFIP reauthorization and reform bill in June.”
Tom Santos, vice president for federal affairs at the American Insurance Association said hopefully this latest extension will give Congress enough time to work on a real solution to this problem.
“Members of the House and Senate are to be commended for coming together in a bipartisan manner in order to extend the NFIP and avoid yet another lapse. The program’s 5.6 million policyholders across 21,000 communities can breathe a sigh of relief as they will continue to be protected at the start of the hurricane season. With overwhelming bi-partisan support to reform and re-authorize the NFIP, the 60-day extension should allow enough time for Congress to hammer out and adopt a final long-term reauthorization bill.”
The NFIP has been caught in a vicious cycle of short-term lapses and extensions since 2008. In 2010 alone, the program expired four separate times, creating havoc and confusion for agents, consumers, insurers and the real estate marketplace in general.
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