Late last week, the President signed legislation to extend the NFIP through midnight this Friday, Dec. 7. The U.S. Senate also passed legislation that would extend the program for approximately six months, through the end of May.
However, the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush has resulted in last minute changes to the congressional schedule this week. Furthermore, negotiations over a year-end government funding bill which is currently set to expire on Dec. 7 remain ongoing. As such, Congress is not expected to vote on a long-term funding bill or a stand-alone measure to further extend the NFIP this week. As of press time, Congress was nearing a deal to pass a short-term extension of government funding through Dec. 21. While efforts are being made to include a further extension of the NFIP in the two-week funding extension, inclusion has not been finalized.
Since September 2017, the NFIP has seen eight stop-gap extensions and three brief lapses.
Should the program lapse, the Big “I” encourages agents and brokers to be in touch with any insurance companies they write NFIP policies with regarding company-specific procedures. Members may log in to view a one-page document that outlines resources available in the event of a lapse.
Meanwhile, the Big “I” will continue advocacy efforts to avoid a lapse in the program and garner necessary program reforms. Last month, the Big “I” led a group of 26 organizations in sending a letter to congressional leadership urging immediate action to reauthorize the NFIP.
The Big “I” and others are advocating for Congress to extend the NFIP before the program expires, and to support a long-term reauthorization of a modernized program that would increase take-up rates for flood insurance both in the NFIP and in the private market.
Jennifer Webb is Big “I” federal government affairs counsel.