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House Extends Flood Program, Omits Windstorms

Posted on 30 Jul 2009

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The House passed a bipartisan bill that will continue the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for an additional six months. The measure that was approved on a voice vote does not include a provision that would have required the program to offer windstorm as well as flood coverage to qualified applicants.

Industry group PCI CEO and President David A. Sampson commended the vote, saying: “We are very pleased with the passage of legislation to extend this crucial program for citizens in flood-prone areas, and we thank leaders and members of both parties in the House for continuing to support the NFIP. The program would expire in September without an extension, and this could have dire consequences for policyholders and for the nation’s economy in general.

“Most home buyers use federally backed mortgages to purchase property, and flood insurance is required for these mortgages if the homes are in floodplains. If the program expired, real-estate transactions in flood-prone areas would come to a halt. We cannot afford to compound the economic challenges our nation already faces by allowing the NFIP to lapse. This legislation will ensure that flood insurance consumers continue to be protected."

The windstorm provision, which property/casualty insurance industry trade groups oppose, was included in a bill the House passed in the last Congress, but not in a Senate extension measure. The House and Senate failed to reach agreement on whether the program should be expanded to include windstorm coverage, leading to temporary extensions of the program. A bill that would require the plan to offer windstorm coverage was introduced in the House by Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., in March.