The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly last week to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the program expired at year end.
H.R. 253, the “Two Floods and You Are Out of the Taxpayers’ Pocket Act of 2004,” would reportedly reduce losses to properties for which repetitive flood insurance claim payments have been made. The bill also extends the program for five years, through Sept. 30, 2008.
“This is a good compromise for homeowners and for the companies which indemnify them should a homeowner suffer a loss from a covered peril,” said Marliss Browder, federal affairs representative for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies(NAMIC). “NAMIC supports efforts to reform the national flood program.”
The 352-67 vote was enabled by a compromise proposed by Representatives Richard Baker, R-La., and Douglas Bereuter, R-Neb. The compromise sets up a five-year pilot program for the mitigation of severe repetitive loss properties alongside the existing program.
There have been no changes to the existing program except for the funding level. The program will now have $40 million a year versus the current $20 million.
The Senate will consider the bill next session.