For Immediate Release: April 28, 2017
Contact: William Gerlich, 212-390-8860
WASHINGTON, D.C.— SmarterSafer.org, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, released the following statement today regarding draft legislation by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 10-years but prohibit many consumers from purchasing coverage through the private sector. The NFIP is currently $25 billion in debt and set to expire on September 30, 2017.
“SmarterSafer is pleased to see a comprehensive proposal that would help address mapping and mitigation issues associated with the NFIP. Unfortunately, this bill includes a harmful provision that would prohibit a vast majority of homeowners in floodplains from purchasing private flood insurance, which could provide consumers with better coverage at lower rates. Holding policyholders hostage to a one-size-fits-all federal program is a shortsighted strategy that will negatively affect the NFIP’s long-term stability, so we urge the Senators to amend this legislation to support consumer choice in the flood insurance marketplace prior to introduction.”
SmarterSafer recently released a proposal that outlines how Congress can comprehensively reform the NFIP before it expires in September. Click here to learn more.
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.