To the chagrin of many who have been following the saga of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to reauthorize the program for four more months. The Senate is expected to vote the same way which means the NFIP will remain active until November 30th, 2018.
While this may seem like good news at first, to those who have been following the fate of the NFIP it’s indicative of a larger problem. Congress has already passed six short-term extensions of the program, and even let it lapse for a few months in 2017 and 2018.
For Congress, this may seem like a bureaucratic issue, but for many Americans the NFIP is an essential part of their financial security. Remember, 116 lives were lost to flooding-related events in the United States in 2017 alone. Not only that but several billion dollars worth of damage was done by floods in that same time period. Clearly, flooding is an issue that many Americans are faced with everyday.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, of Texas, one of the states that was hit the hardest by floods over the last several years, made it clear that he opposed this short-term solution. Rep. Hensarling believes the NFIP not only important, but essential, and needs to be treated as such.
“I want to make it very clear, Mr. Speaker, I believe this program needs to be reauthorized, and the House has done its work,” said Hensarling in remarks on the House floor. “The House passed a bill with reforms last November. Never underestimate the Senate’s capacity to do nothing, and unfortunately the Senate has done nothing. But this is a program, Mr. Speaker, that continues to be in dire need of reform. And now we have re-authorized it without reforms not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times – six times since the Financial Services Committee first reported this bill out. Enough is enough.”.
Climate change tells us that floods are a problem that are only going to become more pervasive as time goes on. The United States government needs to recognize this reality, and fund the NFIP. If you live in an area at risk of flooding, this is an important issue to keep a close eye on.
If you don’t know what kind of flood insurance you have right now, or are interested in modifying your policy, we encourage you to reach out to TGS Insurance. The staff at TGS Insurance are experts in flood insurance and are always willing to help you find the right policy for your lifestyle and your budget. Visit www.tgsinsurance.com to learn more.