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Rep. Scott Peters, D-California, and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky, on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation that would eliminate National Flood Insurance Program subsidies for new construction in flood-prone areas.
Under H.R. 8616, the Build for Future Disasters Act of 2020, properties built in 2025 or later would no longer be eligible for NFIP subsidies and would be subject to rates that reflect current flood risk information, according to a statement issued Friday by Rep. Peters’ office.
Structures built before 2025 in flood zones or that are re-mapped into flood zones would have grandfathered status and would still be eligible for subsidies for flood insurance coverage under the NFIP, the statement said.
The bill would also require the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the feasibility and implications of lowering subsidies in order to put the NFIP on a path to a stronger financial footing, the statement said.
“Right now, federal taxpayer money is subsidizing the rebuilding of structures where we know they will be destroyed again, costing more taxpayer money and creating extensive suffering. This bill would put an end to that and would instead encourage regional resiliency planning – crucial as we prepare for the climate crisis-induced disasters of the future,” Rep. Peters said in the statement.
The bill has the backing of various groups including The Pew Charitable Trusts and R Street Institute, both based in Washington, the Indianapolis-based National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York City.
The Build for Future Disasters Act would take “tangible steps” to align flood insurance rates with actual risk, better protecting policyholders and putting the NFIP on stronger fiscal footing, Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, said in the statement.
The NFIP currently runs a $1.4 billion annual deficit. A one-year extension of the program was recently signed into law by President Trump.
NEW YORK — Legislative and regulatory uncertainty are blunting some of the momentum in developing a private market for flood insurance, experts say.