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National Flood Insurance Program lapses on government shutdown


The National Flood Insurance Program has officially lapsed after the failure to reach a deal in Congress to prevent the federal government from shutting down.

In December, the NFIP was temporarily extended as part of a continuing resolution to keep the U.S. government open until Jan. 19, but legislative talks to pass a new continuing resolution to fund the federal government, which would have included an NFIP extension, failed over the weekend.

The Washington-based National Association of Professional Insurance Agents said it is “extremely disappointed with the lapse, as the NFIP is a program that is integral to policyholders” and called on Congress to extend the NFIP.

“Many consumers engaged in real estate transactions may experience disruptions because of this lapse with some home sales put on indefinite hold,” the organization said in a statement on Saturday. “If flooding events occur during this lapse, some claims will not be processed.”

The NFIP was extended 17 times between 2008 and 2012, and lapsed four times. In most cases when the NFIP lapsed, Congress reauthorized the NFIP retroactively, but borrowers were unable to obtain flood insurance to close, renew or increase loans secured by property in a Special Flood Hazard Area until the NFIP was reauthorized, according to a report issued earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service.