With efforts to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) languishing in the Senate, several insurance associations have signed a letter beseeching the chamber to act.
The letter, signed by the American Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, asks the Senate to pass H.R. 5569, which passed the House last week and would reauthorize the NFIP through September 30, 2010.
“The NFIP protects 5.5 million Americans. Unfortunately, no new policies have been offered to property owners who need coverage since the program expired on May 31, 2010,” the letter states. “This is the third time this year Congress has allowed the NFIP to expire. The timing of this latest expiration—a day before the start of the hurricane season on June 1—could not have been worse for coastal residents and impaired real estate markets.”
For the past few years, the NFIP has been funded through a series of temporary extensions. Disputes over whether or not to include coverage for wind damage and the program’s mounting debt have prevented a long-term funding resolution.
“While we agree with many members of Congress the NFIP is in need of meaningful reform, America’s property owners depend on this important federal program administered with the help of the property/casualty insurance industry,” the letter states. “A long term extension is vital to provide needed certainty to homeowners and small businesses that depend on the program for flood damage protection, to protect our residential and commercial real estate markets from serious harm during a very difficult economic time, and to provide stability for the companies and agents that sell and administer the NFIP policies to millions of consumers across the country.”
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