SmarterSafer.org, a diverse coalition of leading taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurers and others, urges Congress to not make changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, passed last year with overwhelming bipartisan support. That bill made common sense reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). We understand that there are efforts to roll back these reforms through amendments to various moving bills, including the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) currently being considered in the Senate.
Biggert-Waters made needed reforms to NFIP, which is now currently almost $30 billion in debt to US taxpayers. The reforms included better mapping, additional focus on mitigation, and a phase-in to risk based rates for non-primary residences and severe repetitive loss properties. All of these reforms are needed to better protect those in harm’s way, better protect the environment, and better protect US taxpayers.
We understand that there are some concerns about the affordability of flood insurance, and we agree that there needs to be a solution for those who truly cannot afford flood insurance costs. However, rolling back the needed reforms to NFIP is not the answer. Full implementation of the reform bill is needed so that the flood program can be put on a path to sustainability. We look forward to working with you on these important issues.