The House Financial Services Committee on Friday passed a bill (HR 1309) extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years.
With a 54-0 vote, the legislation authorizes the NFIP until 2016 and phases out the program’s rate subsidies, incrementally increases all premiums to reflect actual costs, improves the accuracy of flood maps, and encourages private insurer and reinsurer participation in the market.
New coverage optioins were also added to the bill, tieing policy limits to inflation, and setting higher deductibles for rate-subsidized properties.
Insurance industry groups praised the Committee's actions, including the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”):
“The Big ‘I’ commends the Committee for acting on HR 1309. A five year extension is of the utmost importance, as are reforms to put the program on sound financial footing. We are especially grateful that the Committee rejected an amendment that would have removed the inclusion of optional business interruption and additional living expenses coverage as these provisions will better safeguard consumers against flood loss. The Big ‘I’ thanks House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Ranking Member Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), and other members of the Committee for passing this much-needed legislation. This legislation will have the strong support of the Big ‘I’ going forward and we urge the full House and Senate to take it up as soon as possible to avoid the program’s looming expiration at the end of September.”
The NFIP is currently set to expire on Sept. 30.