Senate Passes Short-Term NFIP Extension

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed government funding legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Nov. 21. The program is currently scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. The same legislation previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives and will now head to the president’s desk where President Donald Trump has signaled that he will sign it into law.

Earlier this year, the House Financial Services Committee passed legislation to reauthorize the NFIP for five years by a unanimous vote of 59-0. The Big “I” supports and continues to advocate for the House to pass that legislation, which would make reforms that will increase overall take-up rates through the NFIP and the private market.  Despite overwhelming support from the committee, concerns raised by coastal lawmakers over potential NFIP rate increases have slowed down House consideration.

Additionally, a group of senators led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) introduced legislation that includes several controversial items that would damage the goal to increase take-up rates in both the NFIP and the private market.

Notably, the legislation would cap Write Your Own (WYO) compensation at 22.46% of written premiums. Currently, WYO insurance companies receive 30% of the written premium to administer the NFIP. WYOs pay insurance agents, vendors and state premium taxes, among other costs, from the allowance they receive. A reduction of this amount would undoubtedly lead to drastic agent commission cuts. 

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