Welcome once again to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) roller coaster. If you are an avid tracker of the NFIP re-authorization process you were probably like the rest of us thinking, “They are going to let this expire again.” That is right, Congress recessed for a week right before the May 31st, 2019 deadline. Gaps in the re-authorization timing greatly affect financial institutions as the NFIP stops issuing and renewing flood insurance policies during this time. Early summer when home sales are up and hurricane season starts is the worst time for this event.
The good news is the President signed an extension of the NFIP to continue until 11:59 p.m. on June 14, 2019. This provides two weeks for consideration once Congress reconvenes on June 3rd. The NFIP re-authorization is actually included in a $19 billion-dollar disaster aid bill. But the passing of the bill won’t bring us the re-authorization time frame we are all expecting. As it currently stands the bill is just another band-aid that extends the program until September 30th.
The extension to September 30 is yet another hope to buy Congress the time needed for the forethought necessary for the enhancements to strengthen the program. Over the past several years significant flood events have stressed the financial resources of the program. There has not been a long-term re-authorization since the expiration in 2017.And while the September re-authorization is expected, it isn’t guaranteed so be sure to mark your calendar for June 14.