Hamilton Herald Masthead Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 7, 2017

Flood insurance expiration worries Realtors




The National Flood Insurance Program will expire on September 30. The National Association of Realtors is working with federal regulators and members of Congress to strengthen the program and clear the way for a private market to take hold.

But Realtors warn the program’s September 30 reauthorization deadline is a threat to consumers.

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor from Alamo, California, and founder of Investment Properties, says he believes that expiration would deal significant damage to current policy-holding property owners, as well as threaten property sales and the broader housing market.

Brown said the following in a statement:

“When the NFIP expired in 2010, over 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result. That’s over 40,000 every month. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in the 100-year floodplain, but without access to the NFIP, buyers simply couldn’t get a mortgage or vital protection from the number one cause of loss of property and life: flooding.

“This problem affects far more than coastal communities, and prospective homeowners aren’t the only ones at risk. Policyholders in over 22,000 communities across the country depend on the NFIP to protect homes and businesses from torrential rain, swollen rivers and lakes, snowmelt, failing infrastructure, storm surges and hurricanes. When that lifeline is cut off, the NFIP can’t issue new policies or renew existing residential or commercial policies that expire. That means current home and business owners may find their most important asset unprotected.

“Last year was the third-largest claims payout year in NFIP’s history, costing more than $4 billion. While there were five billion-dollar floods, including Hurricane Matthew, four of the five were inland, and the largest single event was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in August – just one year out from the NFIP’s expiration date.

“The NFIP isn’t perfect and reforms are needed. We will continue working with everyone involved to achieve those reforms.

“Good work has been done in Congress, at FEMA and elsewhere to clear the way for those efforts. We thank leaders on both sides of the aisle for all they’ve done up to this point. Now it’s time for action. Congress has six months to do the right thing and pass a long-term reauthorization of the program. We’re hoping they do just that.”

Source: NAR