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FEMA confident NFIP will be reauthorized

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is “confident” the National Flood Insurance Program will be reauthorized.

The NFIP will expire on Nov. 30 if Congress fails to act.  

“The administration continues to work with our congressional colleagues to discuss the importance of NFIP authorization,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday. “FEMA is confident Congress will vote to reauthorize this program so individuals, families, businesses and communities can purchase insurance to protect their homes and businesses from flooding.”

FEMA is committed to the NFIP’s constant improvement, as flooding is the most common and costly type of natural disaster in the United States, the agency said in its statement.

“FEMA wants to ensure that the insurance gap is closed and that there is not a lapse in authorization,” the agency said in the statement. “A lapse would mean that the NFIP cannot enter into new flood insurance contracts. The renewal of existing policies and new or refinanced mortgages may also be impacted. Americans need flood insurance, and allowing a lapse will only set the nation back in addressing the issue of flood risk.”

If a lapse were to occur, policies in effect before midnight on Nov. 30 will remain in effect and claims will continue to be processed, according to the agency.

Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate last Thursday to reauthorize the NFIP for six months.

“The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be comprehensively reformed to make the program more fair, affordable, efficient and solvent, which is what my SAFE NFIP would do,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said in a statement last week. “But with the NFIP set to expire in about two weeks and no movement on the horizon, it’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable. This six-month extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.”

Sen. Menendez was referring to legislation he has co-sponsored to reauthorize the NFIP for six years and cap all premium rate hikes at 10%, among other things.