Cassidy, Gillibrand Release National Flood Insurance Extension Draft Legislation for Comment
WASHINGTON—Today, US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) released draft legislation to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 10 years. The NFIP is currently set to expire on September 30, 2017.
“The National Flood Insurance Program gives essential coverage for many,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This legislation extends this critical program, ensuring that Louisiana families have what they need to recover if ever flooded.”
“New Yorkers deserve the peace of mind that if a storm damages their property, they won’t go bankrupt trying to fix it and that the National Flood Insurance Program will be there to help,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am proud to work on this bipartisan bill to make much-needed reforms to the program, and I will continue to fight in the Senate to make sure that the program is working for New Yorkers and they have the protection then need when the next storm hits.”
This proposed legislation would reauthorize the NFIP over a 10-year term (2017-2027), which is needed to avoid short-term extensions and program lapses that create uncertainty in both the insurance and housing markets.
This legislation also takes to reform the program including by:
Enhancing Flood Insurance Affordability and Accessibility
- Provides Greater Investment in Flood Mitigation & Resiliency. FEMA will be required to reallocate the existing surcharges established under P.L. 113-89 to better finance the Pre-Disaster Mitigation and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Programs. Such an adjustment to existing fees would yield approximately $400 million annually for flood mitigation activities.
- Strengthens the Affordability Standard Disclosure. To ensure continued purchase of flood insurance policies in higher risk areas, federal administrators of the NFIP must identify policyholders with premiums in excess of the one percent of coverage limitation at the county/parish and state levels.
- Modernizes Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Coverage. Currently, ICC claims payments must be used to fund up to $30,000 in compliance costs associated with State or local floodplain management laws or ordinances, which typically require structure elevation. The limit of $30,000 is inadequate to elevate most structures. FEMA shall increase ICC coverage to $75,000 with $30,000 of ICC payments allowed to occur outside policy limits.
- Provides Premium Credits to Offset the Cost of Obtaining an Elevation Certificate. Offers policyholders without an elevation certificate, a one-time rate credit of $500 for the cost of obtaining elevation data. Knowledge of flood risk and accuracy of a structure’s base flood elevation information will be enhanced by removing or reducing the financial barrier associated with the acquisition of elevation certificates.