Flood Updates: NFIP Reauthorized; FEMA to Release Data

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a disaster aid package that included an extension of the NFIP through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Earlier today, President Trump signed the legislation into law.

Congress had previously passed a two--week extension of the program through June 14, so this new legislation gives Congress more time to work on a long-term reauthorization.

Now, the Big “I” expects the House Financial Services Committee to mark up a long-term reauthorization of the program with some reforms this summer—potentially as early as next week. At press time, the Big “I” expects at least four bills related to flood insurance to be included in any mark-up.

One bill would deal with the NFIP’s reauthorization and affordability issues; one would address mitigation and flood management; one would address mapping; and one would address the claims process. Additional legislation could be added to any mark-up.

In other flood insurance news, FEMA announced plans to release decades of previously unreleased data from the NFIP in the coming days. "We believe this will provide transparency, reduce complexity for public data requests, improve how our stakeholders interact with and understand our program, all without compromising consumer privacy," said FEMA chief executive David Maurstad.

FEMA will release the documents on its OpenFEMA website, including data on every individual flood insurance claim going back to 1978 and every policy sold going back a decade.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.