Congress reauthorizes NFIP…for now

by Gary Taylor

In my March 30 post I reported the news that Congress had allowed the National Flood Insurance Rate program to lapse, meaning that no new NFIP policies could be issued, existing NFIP polices due for renewal after lapse could not be renewed, and increased coverage requests could not be processed.

On April 16, 2010, Congress passed and the President signed H.R. 4851, which extends the NFIP through May 31, 2010. The extension was retroactive to February 28, 2010. 

A FEMA memo on the extension of the grace period for policies that lapsed between March 29 and April 15 can be found here.

Congress allows NFIP to lapse; no new flood insurance policies for now

Congress failed to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by its expiration date, which was March 28 at midnight.  Congress is not expected to revisit consideration for NFIP reauthorization until it returns to session April 12, 2010.  This means that until Congress approves reauthorization of the NFIP no new NFIP policies will be issued, existing NFIP polices due for renewal during this time will not be renewed, and increased coverage requests will not be processed. Existing NFIP flood insurance policies in effect prior to the program lapse (with coverage period effective during the lapse) will be eligible for claim payments for covered damages incurred during the effective dates of the policy.

The program lapse has significant implications on the lending industry and home mortgage/building industry. Real estate transactions for properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or other areas where the lender requires flood insurance to close the loan will not go through unless coverage similar to the NFIP’s flood insurance policy can be found in the private insurance marketplace that is acceptable to the lender.

A brief FEMA memo on the failure to reauthorize can be found here.

A FEMA FAQ memo concerning the lapse of NFIP and its implications can be found here.

An article from the Insurance Journal can be found here.





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