The National Association of REALTORS® supports efforts to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to issue flood insurance, which is required in 21,000 communities nationwide.
- Efforts to renew and strengthen the long-term viability of the NFIP for at least five years;
- Improving the accuracy of flood insurance rate maps used to determine which properties require flood insurance
- Continued inclusion of comprehensive coverage for residences including rental properties and second homes; and
- Reforms that provide "full risk" premiums for most repetitive loss structures in many states.
For the past several years, Congress has been approving short-term extensions of the NFIP's authority to issue flood insurance policies while they continue to debate long-term fiscal reforms to the program. Twice in 2010 Congress allowed the NFIP to lapse for multiple weeks at a time, which halted tens of thousands of real estate transactions in areas where homebuyers are required to purchase flood insurance to obtain a mortgage.
In 2010, Lawmakers authorized the NFIP through Sept. 30, 2011. Since then, REALTORS'® actions-—including testifying before Congress, issuing Calls for Action, and conducting a "fly-in" to Washington, D.C., to express concerns—-have prevented further lapses.
On June 29, 2012, the Senate and House passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act as a part of H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Conference Report. President Obama signed the measure into law on July 6, 2012.
This is the culmination of a successful multi-year REALTOR campaign and a final push at NAR's Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May 2012. It would not have been possible without the leadership of Reps. Biggert, Waters, Bachus and Frank, as well as Sens. Johnson, Shelby, Tester and Vitter.
Since 2008, Congress had been extending the National Flood Insurance Program a few months at a time. Twice this led to shutdowns, including one that stalled more than 40,000 home sales in June 2010 alone. Passage of this 5-year re-authorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage.
The bill ensures the program will continue long-term for more than 5.6 million business- and homeowners who rely on it, achieves one of NAR's top priorities for the year, and means taxpayers will spend less on federal assistance for flood disasters over the long run.
NAR will continue to monitor the legislation as it is implemented.