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FEMA Testifies on NFIP Reauthorization

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: Administration Perspectives."
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Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: Administration Perspectives."

The only witness to testify at the hearing was David Maurstad, the acting associate administrator for Resilience at FEMA. During his testimony, Maurstad noted that he believes that a 10-year reauthorization, with comprehensive program reforms, is an imperative. 

Additionally, Maurstad outlined four principles that he said reflected the Biden Administration's principles. First, ensuring that more Americans are covered by flood insurance by making insurance more affordable to low- and moderate-income policyholders. Second, communicating risk in real time and providing Americans with the tools to manage flood risk. Third, reducing risk by addressing extreme repetitive loss properties. And fourth, instituting a sound and transparent financial framework that allows the NFIP to balance affordability and fiscal soundness.

The committee also held a hearing last week in which the Big "I" submitted written testimony that underscored the importance of finally enacting a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP after numerous short-term reauthorizations. Additionally, the Big “I" emphasized the importance of increasing take-up rates for flood insurance—whether it be through the NFIP or the private market.

The Big “I" also advocated for S. 2915, the “Flood Insurance Consumer Choice Act," introduced by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida). This important legislation would clarify that private flood insurance can satisfy NFIP continuous coverage requirements, which means that if a consumer leaves the NFIP for the private market and conditions change, the consumer can return to the NFIP without penalty.

The Big “I" statement also called for allowing refunds for unearned premiums for the mid-term cancelation of NFIP policies if a consumer elects to purchase a policy from the private flood insurance market.

Finally, the Big “I" testimony touched on Risk Rating 2.0 and noted that the Big “I" believes that Risk Rating 2.0, if properly implemented, has the potential to improve the NFIP experience for consumers but the rollout of the program will be critical in determining its success.

Additionally, the Big “I" noted that to make the rollout successful, FEMA must work hand in hand with WYO carriers and agents, noting that FEMA must do more to make the rating process more transparent for both agents and consumers.

As Congress continues to discuss reauthorizing the NFIP, the Big “I" will continue to provide members with updates in the weekly News & Views e-newsletter.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs.


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Thursday, June 23, 2022
On the Hill