From the October 10, 2011 issue of National Underwriter Property & Casualty • Subscribe!

NFIP Extended To Nov. 18; Real Work On Reforms Begins Now

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will continue without a lapse, at least for six weeks, as the House acted on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Nov. 18.

Early in the week of Sept. 26, as the House and Senate were scrambling to keep the government funded while legislators were leaving Washington in observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Senate approved two continuing resolutions: one for one week, and one until Nov. 18.

Later that week, the House approved by unanimous consent the one-week continuing resolution, which contained an NFIP extension through Oct. 4.

Most recently, on Oct. 4, with another deadline looming, the House voted 352-66 on the Nov. 18 continuing resolution, which includes a flood-program extension until that date.

Charles Symington, senior vice president of government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, commends the House and Senate action.

“It is vital to our economy that there not be any interruption in the NFIP, and today’s action thankfully ensures that Congress will have more time to consider its long-term extension and reform efforts,” he says.

But Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, cautions that “we’ve been down this road before, watching as Congress gets to the home stretch only to falter before the finish line. The legislation has broad, bipartisan support, and we urge Congress not to miss another opportunity to place the NFIP on sounder financial footing.”

The House has passed its long-term extension, H.R. 1309, the “Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011.”

The Senate bill, “The Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act,” passed the Banking Committee Sept. 8 and is awaiting floor action.

Senate passage would set the stage for negotiations designed to merge the mostly similar bills.  

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