Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On Sept. 30, 2021, the president signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to Dec. 3, 2021.
Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2021.
FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. Should the NFIP’s authorization lapse, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimate in 2017 that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.
NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance.
The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the nation for managing the cost of flooding under the NFIP.