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An extension to the National Flood Insurance Program until Dec. 20 was approved by the Senate on Thursday on a 74-20 vote as part of an ongoing spending measure that the House of Representatives approved 231-192 on Wednesday.
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents on Thursday voiced its approval for the Senate’s vote while also calling for a longer-term solution.
“While this extension of the NFIP is appreciated because it avoids a lapse in the program, it is frustrating for agents and NFIP policyholders that Congress is yet again passing a last-minute, short-term extension of the NFIP, guaranteeing that these stakeholders will return to the brink of lapse in a mere four weeks,” Jon Gentile, vice president of government relations for PIA, said in a statement.
The Senate vote puts the program on its 14th short-term extension since its most recent long-term authority ended in 2017, according to the statement.
“Never-ending short-term extensions cause confusion and ambiguity for NFIP policyholders, and they are disruptive to the market,” Mr. Gentile said in the statement.
He spoke in favor of “a bipartisan, five-year reauthorization of the NFIP that includes important reforms,” already passed by the House Financial Services Committee.
“The program needs reform, and the House NFIP legislative package includes it. On behalf of consumers and independent agents alike, we implore Congress to act now,” he said.
The spending package is on its way to President Donald Trump for signature.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have voted to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Dec. 7.