House Votes to Extend Flood Insurance Program 1 Year; Senate Yet to Vote

The House of Representatives yesterday extended the National Flood Insurance Program until Sept. 30, 2021 as part of a measure to fund the federal government through December 11.

The flood insurance program is currently set to expire in a week on Sept 30.

The measure must still be passed by the Senate.

The House vote on the funding measure was 359 to 57.

Congress has approved about a dozen short-term extensions of the NFIP’s authorization in the past several years.

Business and consumer groups have urged longer-term authorizations and reforms of the flood program.

“Following the House vote, the Big ‘I’ urges prompt action in the Senate to extend the NFIP before Sept. 30,” said Wyatt Stewart, assistant vice president of federal government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”). “A lapse in the NFIP could impact the ability of the program to promptly pay claims if there is a major flooding event, delay recovery efforts related to catastrophic storms, and disrupt real estate markets across the country. While we appreciate that this legislation provides needed certainty for the next year, it is imperative that Congress finally pass a longer-term extension of a modernized NFIP in 2021.”

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November, has been a busy one. Nine named storms have made a mainland U.S. landfall this season; four have been hurricanes. That ties a 1916 for the most on record landfalls in a season, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University.

The NFIP is expected to face substantial flood claims from this season’s Hurricane Sally as well as losses from Tropical Storm Isaias, Tropical Storm Cristobal and tropical depression Beta.