With Congress Expected To Take Up Legislation In Next Few Weeks, Strange Bedfellows Coalition Outlines Consensus Ideas For Keeping NFIP Viable
WASHINGTON — SmarterSafer.org a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurers and mitigation and housing organizations, today released a series of policy recommendations to comprehensively reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is currently $25 billion in debt and up for reauthorization in September.
In a statement, SmarterSafer.org said, “The U.S. experienced more floods in 2016 than any other year on record. But our federal flood insurance policy continues to put lives, property, and taxpayer dollars in harm’s way by failing to adapt to extreme weather. Just last month, the NFIP’s debt grew by another $1 billion, meaning the program is over $25 billion in debt to U.S. taxpayers.
“With the NFIP set to expire in September, the SmarterSafer proposal is a roadmap for how Congress can save the program, while better protecting those in harm’s way, taxpayers, and the environment. Putting these reforms in place will give American homeowners greater choice in flood insurance coverage while reducing the damage from future storms. Our coalition looks forward to working closely with Congress to implement these commonsense reforms before the program expires this fall.”
SmarterSafer.org’s NFIP reform proposal outlines how Congress can update and improve the NFIP by better managing the escalating flood impacts in the short-term while reducing those risks over the long-term. These consumer-based reforms ease the financial burden of extreme flooding now borne by federal taxpayers while promoting responsible environmental stewardship.
SmarterSafer.org recommends that any reauthorization of the NFIP specifically include:
- More Accurate Mapping: Update and improve mapping techniques and risk analysis to ensure property owners and communities better understand real risk.
- Private Sector Competition: Allow consumers choice in flood insurance policies by ensuring private insurers have access to the flood insurance market, giving consumers access to better rates and higher coverage limits.
- Risk-Based Rates with Incentives for Risk Reduction: Continue to shift to a system of risk-based rates while providing assistance for lower-income policyholders, with an emphasis on subsidizing mitigation to reduce risks.
- Environmentally Responsible Risk Reduction: Focus on community level, environmentally friendly mitigation efforts in high-risk areas.
Click HERE to view SmarterSafer.org’s complete set of policy recommendations.
SmarterSafer.org is a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound natural catastrophe policies 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 flood insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not provide incentives for people to live in harm’s way.