WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer.org, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, applauded the House Financial Services Committee today for passing the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (H.R. 2901). This bill would give states the right to regulate private flood insurers in an effort to encourage the development of a private marketplace for flood insurers and to lessen dependence on the struggling National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is more than $23 billion in debt. In response, SmarterSafer stated:
“This is a significant step toward fostering a more robust marketplace for private insurers, which will provide consumers with more options for purchasing flood insurance while driving down prices. By easing regulations that discouraged marketplace competition, several states are already seeing more private insurers enter the flood insurance market, which is resulting in more competition, lower rates and better coverage. We thank Chairman Hensarling and the entire Committee for their work in advancing this important bipartisan bill, and we hope lawmakers from both sides of the aisle will come together to pass these necessary policy reforms.”
SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the Federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters. At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers. Measures such as subsidizing artificially low rates for homeowners’ insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not incentivize people to live in harm’s way in places prone to hurricanes and floods.