Contact: William Gerlich, 212-390-8840
WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer.org, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, urged federal regulators this week to implement a proposed rule that would expand consumer choice for flood insurance.
In a letter, SmarterSafer.org wrote that the proposed rule— which is currently being considered by five federal regulatory agencies— would help level the playing field for private flood insurers to enter the marketplace by clarifying that private policies can be used to meet federal mandatory purchase requirements. This would lessen dependence on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance coverage to property owners in more than 22,000 communities nationwide but is $23 billion in debt. A full copy of the letter is included below.
In a statement, SmarterSafer.org said, “This rule is a good first step toward providing much-needed clarity to federal legislation aimed at fixing our nation’s broken flood insurance program. While SmarterSafer largely supports this proposal, we urge regulators to broaden the rule to ensure the widest possible net of private policies are accepted by lenders, including surplus line insurers that are a vital part of the private market. We also urge Congress to reintroduce and pass the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, which would ensure broader acceptance of private flood policies. Combined, these steps this will reduce costs, improve coverage limits and better protect lives and property.”
SmarterSafer’s letter comes as Congress prepares to reauthorize the NFIP before it expires in September. The coalition previously released a 2017 NFIP 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.