NFIP Reforms: Right Idea, Wrong Timing?

July 23, 2018
Insurance Business America

Media Coverage

After 10 months of messy negotiations, lots of debate, and six short term extensions, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is once again set to expire on July 31 – and it’s looking like a seventh short-term fix could be on the cards.

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Alan Rubin – a principal with Blank Rome Government Relations LLC, a government affairs firm affiliated with the national law firm Blank Rome LLP – told Insurance Business he expects to see “a stop gap measure” that will extend the struggling program for at least 90 days, in order to take the program through the danger months of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and up to the midterm elections. Once a new Congress is elected, Rubin hopes a longer-term solution will be found.

The problem with the drafted NFIP legislation, which has triggered much debate among policymakers, is that it tries to do too much all in one go, according to Rubin. The bill proposes five years of NFIP funding from 2017 to 2022 as well as action to mitigate and prevent recurring flooding issues.

“If the funding was the only thing on that bill, it would have passed by now,” Rubin told Insurance Business. “But the draft legislation contains very specific terms related to development in flood zones and the definition of flood plains. Each distinction carries certain rules and regulations pertaining to development in those areas – and that’s when disagreements start to crop up.”

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"NFIP Reforms: Right Idea, Wrong Timing?," by Bethan Moorcraft was published in Insurance Business America on July 23, 2018.