"Within two years, the National Flood Insurance Program has been subjected to ten short-term extensions. This ridiculous process has created significant uncertainty and anxiety for homeowners, renters, and small business owners in our states," the Senators wrote in the letter.
The full text of the letter is below:
Within two years, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been subjected to 10 short-term extensions. This ridiculous process has created significant uncertainty and anxiety for homeowners, renters, and small business owners in our states. The NFIP is critical to our constituents and there is a bipartisan path to expedite a long-term reauthorization with commonsense reforms that will enhance the affordability, efficiency, fairness, accountability, and sustainability of the program. Structural reforms to the program must address the affordability of flood insurance premiums for low and middle-income policyholders, fund mitigation, improve flood risk assessment, reform the claims process and bolster NFIP solvency by addressing its unsustainable debt burden. We must address these outstanding issues as part of a long-term NFIP reauthorization and we stand ready to work with you to resolve them.
Specifically, we encourage the following:
1. Ensure the implementation of
2. Affordability for low and middle-income policyholders and funding for mitigation. Even with a lower annual cap on premium increases, flood insurance will still be out of reach for millions of low and middle-income homeowners and renters. Rather than make the program more solvent and accountable to taxpayers, unaffordable premiums threaten to undermine the NFIP and expose taxpayers to additional federal disaster assistance grants for uninsured losses after a disaster. That is why an NFIP reauthorization bill must include a means-tested affordability program for low and middle-income households as well as a robust federal investment in mitigation funding. In addition, providing higher caps for the Increased Cost of Compliance program will help all policyholders lower their premium rates and reduce the collective exposure to flood-related losses.
3. Ensure repetitive loss properties have a legitimate opportunity to mitigate prior to flood insurance premium adjustments. According to
4. Reform the NFIP "Write Your Own" program and claims process to address lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy, the 2016 flooding in
5. Improving NFIP solvency by forbearing interest on NFIP's debt. We appreciate that
The NFIP has more than five million flood insurance policies providing