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A measure to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30, 2021, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday as part of broader government funding legislation.
The House voted 359 to 57 in favor of the funding measure, which now has to be passed by the Senate. The NFIP is currently set to expire in a week on Sept. 30.
The progress was welcomed by industry organizations including the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America Inc.
“If this year has taught us anything, it is that risk professionals must be proactive and address catastrophic issues, like flood, before the damage is too great,” said RIMS President Laura Langone.
“We are extremely encouraged by the House’s proposed NFIP extension and hope that the Senate also recognizes the program’s importance to the countless businesses with operations in the country’s most vulnerable regions.”
In a statement Thursday, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America Inc. urged the Senate to extend the NFIP before its Sept. 30 expiry.
“A lapse in the NFIP could impact the ability of the program to promptly pay claims if there is a major flooding event, delay recovery efforts related to catastrophic storms, and disrupt real estate markets across the country,” said Wyatt Stewart, Big ‘I’ assistant vice president of federal government affairs.
Congress has yet to pass a longer-term extension of the NFIP, as debate continues regarding options for reforming the program.
The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and implement reforms and new funding for mapping and mitigation activities.