End-of-year negotiations among federal lawmakers have resulted in another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Homeowners and buyers in areas at risk of flooding can get insurance through Dec. 21, when the program is scheduled to expire.
House inundated by floodwaters
© Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images
Efforts are underway to secure longer-term authorization, possibly until the end of September, as part of a temporary budget measure known as a continuing resolution. The National Association of REALTORS® has been communicating with lawmakers and staff on the need for the longer extension, and will keep doing so as the days to the latest deadline wind down.
Beyond the extension, NAR is hoping to secure reforms that will make the flood insurance program better. Among other things, the association wants to see a modernized process for preparing the flood maps that determine whether an area is a flood risk, rule changes that encourage more private insurers to get into the market, and creation of a robust program in place to help owners prepare their properties to withstand flooding.
Separately, NAR and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which operates the flood insurance program, are working together under an agreement they signed about a month ago to get the word out to owners on the need to have adequate insurance on their properties. The outreach effort applies to all types of natural disaster risks, not just flooding. Data referenced by FEMA show that many owners outside of risk areas don’t carry insurance, even though they still face a chance of losing their property to a flood, fire, earthquake, or other disaster.