Posted on 24 Jun 2010
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) called on members of the Senate to add their support to legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that has won approval by the House.
"The American people cannot afford to wait any longer," said Jimi Grande, NAMIC senior vice president of federal and political affairs. “With each day that passes, closings don’t happen because the buyers cannot obtain flood insurance to satisfy their mortgage lender, and the deadline for the $8,000 first time homebuyers’ tax credit is just a week from now.”
It has been estimated that for each day the NFIP remains in limbo, approximately 1,400 closings for home purchases must be delayed. Such delays can add significant costs for buyers and sellers, and threaten the housing economy that has only just recently started showing signs of recovery.
Members of the House approved an extension through the end of September with no objections, signaling the strong support for an extension. The NFIP had been allowed to lapse when budgetary concerns over other issues derailed a legislative “extenders” package that reauthorized several other spending programs in addition to the NFIP.
“To have gone over three weeks into the 2010 hurricane season without the National Flood Insurance Program is almost unthinkable,” Grande said. “It should not have taken Congress this long to address this problem.”
The NFIP expired as of June 1, which also marked the beginning of the 2010 storm season. The Atlantic storm season began June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted that 2010 will be among the most active seasons ever. The NOAA predicts that 2010 will see 14 to 23 named storms, with eight to 14 of those developing into hurricanes. Of those, the NOAA has said that three to seven may develop into Category 3 or above hurricanes with winds of over 110 miles per hour.
“Each of the four times since December the NFIP has lapsed it has been because of other political issues,” Grande said. “We applaud the House for doing the right thing and addressing the issue. Now it is time for the Senate to step up and do their part.”