Federal Flood Program Is Due To Expire In September, Giving Congress An Opportunity To Enact Meaningful Updates in 2017.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, issued the following statement today regarding Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (R-Missouri) newly released principles to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance coverage to property owners in more than 22,000 communities nationwide and is up for reauthorization next year.
In a statement, SmarterSafer.org said, “The nation’s disaster policies and flood program are in need of major reform so that they better protect lives, property and taxpayers who have for too long backstopped the current flood program, which is now over $23 billion in debt to US taxpayers. The principles released by Rep. Luetkemeyer to reauthorize and reform the broken NFIP are welcome steps towards making the program more sustainable, while promoting private sector competition. Private sector competition in the flood insurance marketplace will give consumers access to better coverage and lower rates.
“In addition to private sector competition, Rep. Luetkemeyer’s principles recognize that important structural reforms are needed to ensure the NFIP is financially secure and available to help Americans rebuild after future disasters. This includes better mapping and risk analysis, rate transparency, rates that reflect real risk, and additional and more flexible mitigation assistance. It also recognizes the need to utilize reinsurance and capital market alternatives to protect the NFIP from large losses by diversifying risk across multiple markets.
“The NFIP must be reauthorized by September, and SmarterSafer.org looks forward to working with the House and Senate to implement these crucial reforms to ensure communities are better prepared for a future of more frequent and severe floods.”
SmarterSafer.org previously released a 2017 National Flood Insurance Program reform proposal, which is attached and can be found here.
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.