The latest chapter in the ongoing trials and tribulations surrounding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is soon to be written. The latest extension of the program is set to expire 10 days from now on September 30, just as the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season reaches its height. Now that Congress has reconvened, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges immediate action and reauthorization of the NFIP.
"Congress returned from recess this week and there is still not a clear path for the NFIP reauthorization,” Ben McKay, SVP of federal government relations for PCI, said in a statement. "We are very concerned that this will lead to another NFIP lapse in 14 days.”
Since 2008, NFIP has been operating under a series of short-term extensions. Congress already has allowed the program to lapse four times since the start of the year. President Obama signed the latest extension into law on July 2.
Further complicating matters in the past was the potential inclusion of a wind damage amendment to the bill, which needed to be excised in July in order to pass the House.
The wind coverage issue has long been one of the primary points of contention that has stymied a lasting resolution to the NFIP. Since his district was devastated during Hurricane Katrina, Rep. Gene Taylor (D—Miss.) has championed a multi-peril approach to the NFIP, saying absent a provision for wind damage, private insurers participating in the NFIP “Write Your Own” (WYO) program could too easily dump claims losses on the NFIP and taxpayers.
However, after the wind damage amendment was cut from the bill, Taylor was one of just eight democrats to vote against the bill.
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