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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, November 24, 2017

Passage of flood bill critical step toward reform, Realtors say




With less than a month left before the National Flood Insurance Program expires, the National Association of Realtors is applauding the House of Representatives for passing what NAR believes is smart, much-needed support for the program.

“Realtors know first-hand what happens when the NFIP expires, and it isn’t good for consumers, businesses or our communities,” says Elizabeth Mendenhall, NAR president. “We appreciate the leadership that members of Congress have shown passing sound reforms, which will strengthen the program, protect property owners and deliver good results for taxpayers.”

The NFIP is responsible for providing the vast majority of flood insurance policies in over 20,000 communities nationwide. Without it, most consumers would be unable to purchase the flood insurance that’s required on mortgages in a flood plain. In the past, NAR has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month when the program is unavailable.

The 21st Century Flood Reform Act reauthorizes the NFIP for five years while taking steps to reform the program. These reforms include:

  • Authorizing $1 billion to elevate, buy out or mitigate high-risk properties
  • Capping flood insurance premiums at $10,000 per year for homeowners
  • Removing hurdles to the private flood insurance market
  • Providing for community flood maps and a homeowner’s ability to appeal their flood designation
  • Better aligning NFIP rates to match a property’s true risk
  • Improving the claims process for flood victims
  • Addressing repeatedly flooded properties, which account for two percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of claim payments

These changes, Mendenhall said, would improve the NFIP’s financial health, put consumers on a stronger footing and deliver certainty to current and prospective homeowners.

“The conversation happening in Washington on this issue is fundamentally about how we deliver the best results for consumers and taxpayers, and that’s a good conversation to have,” Mendenhall says.

“Realtors are simply asking that Congress swiftly deliver on the promise of this program so buyers can move forward without interruption and homeowners know their most important asset is protected. With Dec. 8 around the corner, we’re hopeful the Senate will now do its part by passing a flood reform and reauthorization package without delay.”

Source: National Association of Realtors