As of press time, the NFIP is expected to receive a two-week extension this Friday as part of a continuing resolution Congress is predicted to pass to fund the government through Dec. 22.
The flood program is set to expire tomorrow, Dec. 8, but it appears congressional leadership has reached a short-term funding deal to avoid a government shutdown and an NFIP lapse. In the unlikely event that this deal falls through, FEMA is prepared to issue guidance to WYO insurers on program procedure during any potential hiatus.
Until the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate both pass long-term reauthorizations, it is expected that short-term NFIP extensions as part of federal funding bills will continue. The House passed H.R. 2874, “The 21st Century Flood Reform Act” by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin), in early November. The legislation is the product of negotiations between House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana). This bill reauthorizes the NFIP for five years and makes several reforms to the program. However, the U.S. Senate has not made much progress on a long-term reauthorization bill. The Senate Banking Committee released a legislative framework for an NFIP reauthorization bill earlier this year, but it has not been able to reach an agreement on long-term program reforms.
This week, FEMA submitted a $1.04 billion full-limit claim to reinsurers for Hurricane Harvey losses sustained by the NFIP earlier this year. The Big “I” supports spreading program risk by utilizing the reinsurance market.
Stay tuned to the News & Views e-newsletter for updates on the status of the NFIP reauthorization.
Jen McPhillips is Big “I” vice president of federal government affairs.