Down to the Wire for Federal Flood Insurance… Again

November 16, 2011

The nation’s flood insurance program is scheduled to expire again on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, unless Congress takes action.

Last month, the House and Senate passed legislation that kept the federal government – and the National Flood Insurance Program – running until Nov. 18, 2011.

Since then, legislation to reform and extend the flood program for five years has stalled. The House passed its version of this legislation in July and the Senate Committee on Banking has passed a version. But the bill must still be considered by the full Senate.

Then, once the Senate passes its legislation, the two branches will still have to agree on a final bill.

The insurance industry is pushing for both branches to pass a five year extension with reforms; however another short-term funding extension for the government including the NFIP may be all that Congress will manage.

“The flood program is set to expire in less than 72 hours,” said Ben McKay, senior vice president of federal government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “While PCI continues to urge a long-term reauthorization for the NFIP, our first priority is avoiding a program lapse. We urge Congress to move expeditiously to avoid a lapse in the flood insurance program.”

In 2010, the NFIP lapsed four times and flood coverage could not be purchased or renewed for a total of 53 days.

The program has more than 5.6 million policyholders.

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