The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to mark up H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) on May 12. Home, auto and business insurers strongly support the passage of H.R. 1309, which includes a long-term (five years) reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and requires greater movement towards adequate rates.
The bill provides coverage improvements such as additional living expenses and optional business interruption protection to help consumers recover faster after a disaster. H.R. 1309 also sets up a needed process to address the mapping issues as well as re-establishing the Technical Mapping Advisory Council.
In April, PCI testified before Congress and continues to stress the importance of NFIP’s long-term reauthorization. Absent congressional action, the program is set to expire on September 30. However, more than 5.6 million American families and businesses rely on flood insurance. In 2010 alone, the NFIP lapsed four times and flood coverage could not be purchased or renewed for a total of 53 days. Lapses in NFIP coverage have created uncertainty in the housing market and the economy and left homes and businesses even more vulnerable to devastating floods, while leaving taxpayers more exposed to costly relief efforts. While we cannot control natural disasters, we can control how we respond to catastrophic events.