The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will continue for another month after President Obama signed an extension of the controversial program.
With lawmakers still unable to craft a permanent solution to the financially strapped NFIP, the latest in a series of extensions was passed as a Continuing Resolution (CR) by the Senate as part of the House-Senate Conference Report on H.R. 2918.
“We appreciate last night’s action by Congress and President Obama for another short-term extension but feel that a long term extension coupled with reform of the NFIP are necessary,” says Charles Symington Jr., SVP for government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. “In particular, we strongly support an increase in maximum coverage limits and the addition of optional business interruption insurance. Homeowners and businesses need both higher coverage limits and business interruption insurance in order to properly insure their homes and businesses. We hope that as Congress considers a long term reauthorization soon, they will include these reforms.”
While bills intended to authorize the program for another five years have been introduced into both chambers of Congress, consensus over the NFIP has foundered on the issue of whether to include coverage for wind damage in the program. Legislators from coastal regions want a wind damage provision, while private insurers claim such an inclusion will crowd them out of the market. Another source of contention is debt forgiveness for the program, which is currently bumping up against a $20 billion threshold set by Congress.
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