WASHINGTON (August 26, 2011) – Hurricane Irene’s damaging floods this week underscore the importance of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire at the end of next month.
If Congress doesn’t act soon, the critical program will end, putting millions of home owners at risk, says the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
“NFIP is essential to a properly functioning real estate market, ensuring access to affordable flood insurance for millions of home owners,” said NAR President Ron Phipps. “REALTORS® support any and every effort to extend the program for as long as legislatively possible, so that American families won’t have to go without essential flood protection.”
Floods are also not just a coastal issue and are not only caused by hurricanes. Floods claimed more lives and property than any other natural disaster in the U.S. over the past century and have been declared in every state, along rivers, and anywhere rain falls or snow melts.
The NFIP is set to expire on September 30 for the tenth time in three years, and NAR has asked Congress to reauthorize the program for five years, before it expires. The NFIP ensures access to affordable flood insurance for more than 5.6 million home and business owners in 21,000 communities across the nation.
“We strongly urge Congress to speed passage of legislation to reauthorize the NFIP for the long term and end the current stopgap approach that has already led to numerous extensions and lapses of program authority in the past two years,” said Phipps.
NAR also asked Congress to develop a proactive national policy to reduce natural disaster risk beyond floods, so that home owners have access to affordable, comprehensive property insurance for a full range of natural disasters, and taxpayers no longer have to fund rebuilding efforts through federal disaster assistance.