SmarterSafer Urges Congress to Prioritize NFIP Reform and Reauthorization

SmarterSafer Urges Congress to Prioritize NFIP Reform and Reauthorization

Dear Speaker McCarthy, Leader Jeffries, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader

SmarterSafer is a national coalition made up of a diverse chorus of voices who champion
environmentally responsible and fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe mitigation and
the promotion of public safety. The coalition focuses on several policy areas, including flood and
wildfire risk, extreme heat, infrastructure investment, environmental protection and conservation,
and overall responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. We write you today to urge the Congress
to avert the looming lapse of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The NFIP, set to expire on September 30th, plays a crucial role in protecting homeowners,
businesses, and communities across the nation from the devastating financial impacts associated
with flooding. With the increasing frequency and severity of weather-related disasters, such as
hurricanes, storms, and prolonged rainfall events, the need for a reliable flood insurance program
has never been more apparent. That is particularly true as coastal communities across the United
States remain meaningfully exposed during this hurricane season. Allowing the NFIP to expire
would not only expose millions of Americans to severe financial risks but also disrupt the real
estate market, hinder economic growth, and place undue burdens on already strained state and
local budgets.

While we recognize that a short-term extension is important to prevent an immediate lapse in
coverage, we also encourage both chambers to look beyond temporary fixes and work towards a
comprehensive, long-term reauthorization and reform of the NFIP. An extended reauthorization
should prioritize pre-disaster mitigation and resiliency efforts, transitioning the program from a
purely reactive approach to a proactive one. This includes incentivizing and funding improved
floodplain management and restoration, infrastructure improvements, and resilient practices to
reduce the financial burden on taxpayers and lessen the impact of floods on communities.

Furthermore, we encourage Congress to implement risk-based pricing that accurately reflects the
flood risks associated with a property, promoting fairness, encouraging risk reduction, and
ensuring the program can better cover its costs without relying on additional taxpayer subsidies.
While risk-based pricing should be a central discussion point in future negotiations, SmarterSafer
also recognizes the affordability challenges associated with NFIP coverage. To that end, we look
forward to conversations on means-tested affordable coverage, particularly in historically
disadvantaged communities that in many cases face a much higher risk of flooding. Furthermore,
accurate and modernized floodplain mapping is essential for informed decision-making.
Congress should consider all efforts to enhance flood mapping efforts, making them more
accessible and precise to help renters, homeowners, and broader communities better understand
their flood risks.

Additionally, we continue to believe that fostering the growth of the private flood insurance
market can complement the NFIP, improve consumer choice, and promote competition.
Congress should also bear in mind the role that public/private partnerships, including the role of
reinsurance coverage, can play in offsetting risks to taxpayers and the Federal balance sheet. It is
crucial to ensure that the NFIP reflects the tenets of financial responsibility and actuarial

In the immediate term, a reauthorization of the NFIP is essential to protect the economic security
of millions of Americans in the face of intensifying flood risk. We respectfully request your
commitment to taking action to ensure the program’s continued operation and long-term

The SmarterSafer Coalition stands ready to work collaboratively with you and your colleagues to
achieve these goals and enhance the NFIP for the benefit of all Americans. Thank you for your
dedication to the safety and well-being of our communities.

The SmarterSafer Coalition

SmarterSafer Letter on NFIP Expiration accessible for download here.