PIA National Requests Executive Order on Reauthorization of National Flood Program

December 5, 2002

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) has filed a request with the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), asking that it explore obtaining an Executive Order from President Bush affirming that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will continue to operate as is.

“The statutory authority for the flood insurance program expires on December 31, 2002,” PIA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Patricia Borowski noted. “PIA National believes such an Executive Order would be prudent under the circumstances, simply to assure everyone involved that the NFIP program, its services and all current, pending and potential obligations will continue as is until Congress completes its reauthorization.”

The U.S. House of Representatives adjourned for the year on Nov. 22 without completing its portion of the reauthorization of NFIP, the
federal program that provides 90 percent of all the flood insurance policies in the nation. The Senate had already approved a reauthorization.

Authority for the program technically expires after Dec. 31, 2002, but
FIMA says because a Continuing Resolution (CR) was adopted by Congress before adjourning for the year, all flood insurance services for current contracts at current conditions will be honored, even if servicing needs extend into next year.

On Nov. 20, the Senate passed S. 13, sponsored by Senate Banking
Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), to reauthorize the program through Dec. 31, 2003. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio) introduced H.R. 5759 and H.R. 5758, which would have extended the program through Dec. 31, 2004.

On Nov. 21, PIA along with real estate and banking associations including America’s Community Bankers, the American Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors urged the House to pass NFIP reauthorization before adjourning for the year. The next day, the House adjourned without taking action on any consent agenda items, after passing the Homeland Security Act.

In its letter suggesting an Executive Order, PIA expressed appreciation to FIMA Administrator Anthony Lowe and Deputy Administrator Howard Leikin for specific changes they made in response to the concerns raised by PIA about the process and procedures for any interim period the agency published when Congress failed to complete NFIP reauthorization.

“PIA is pleased to be working with a broad coalition of realtors, bankers and regulators to facilitate a solution to this problem,” Borowski said. “Our coalition efforts will focus on creating the momentum needed to ensure quick completion of NFIP reauthorization when Congress reconvenes in early January and obtaining an Executive Order for the interim period.”

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