The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) lives to see another month, four of them to be exact. The president extended the NFIP for an additional four months. This was a last minute extension as the program was scheduled to come to an end as of July 31, 2018.
If the President had not signed an extension for the NFIP to complete this year’s hurricane season, Floridians with flood insurance policies set to expire soon would not be able to renew, and home buyers of homes in flood-zone areas would not be able to procure a policy to satisfy the terms of their home loan. The same can be said for those who have had to rebuild their home in an area that was destroyed by flood already.
Rebuilding in flood-prone areas is a bone of contention amongst fiscally conservative lawmakers against the NFIP reducing premiums, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times. Other issues at hand include past approved steep increases in premiums, and the program’s current state of debt. It is largely deep in debt due to a very active hurricane season last year.
Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson were among lawmakers who have pitched reforms for the program. While their proposal to fix the NFIP seemed reasonable with premium increase caps at 10 percent and a 6-year extension for the program, members of fiscally conservative groups felt this was not beneficial and would hurt the government’s bottom line and the proposal didn’t move further. In other words, fiscally conservative lawmakers want to pass the cost along directly to the consumer. A major problem with this is that many homeowners are already struggling to afford the flood insurance premiums they already have after the last increase.
It will be interesting to see exactly where the NFIP’s reform strategy will go from here. On a positive note, at least it’s still up and running for the next four months.
To read more about the NFIP’s current status and the extension, visit: https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/07/31/trump-signs-bill-extending-national-flood-insurance-program/.