NFIP Policies Available During Shutdown

Despite enactment of legislation on Dec. 21 to reauthorize the operational authority of the NFIP through May 31, FEMA announced on Dec. 26 that the NFIP would not issue new or renewal policies or make changes to existing policies during the government shutdown. However, on Dec. 28 FEMA reversed its decision.

The reversal communication came from David Maurstad, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation at FEMA, who oversees the NFIP. Specifically, Administrator Maurstad said:   

On Dec. 26, 2018, FEMA informed you that due to a lapse in annual appropriation the NFIP may not sell new insurance policies, renew existing policies, or make monetary endorsements on existing policies. Effective immediately, this guidance is rescinded and NFIP insurers may resume the sale, renewal, and monetary endorsements for flood insurance policies. Please treat the program as operational since Dec. 21, 2018 without interruption. We appreciate your support, understanding, and patience these past few days.”

The Big “I” and others worked with Congress and the Trump Administration to garner reversal of FEMA’s original decision to halt the sale of NFIP policies during the shutdown.

The Big “I” led a collation of insurance trade associations in responding to FEMA’s decision and also coordinated advocacy efforts with other non-insurance stakeholder groups, such as the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Home Builders.

Jennifer Webb is Big “I” federal government affairs counsel