Trump Signs NFIP Extension Into Law

September 8, 2017

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publication.

After the House and Senate approved a three-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program this week, President Donald Trumped signed it into law Friday as part of a legislative package releasing more than $15 billion in assistance for storm-ravaged areas in the country.

“Extending the National Flood Insurance Program was a must-do item, and Congress delivered,” William E. Brown, president of the National Association of REALTORS®, said Thursday, anticipating President Trump's signature. “That’s good news for consumers and an opportunity for proponents of meaningful reform.” The program was set to expire on Sept. 30, but it will now remain in effect until Dec. 8. The NFIP provides flood insurance to 5 million homeowners nationwide. Lenders require flood insurance in order to close on mortgage financing if the home is in a flood zone.

NAR is continuing to work with lawmakers on reforms and a long-term extension to make the program better. The association supports the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, H.R. 2874, which passed the House Financial Services Committee a few weeks ago. The bill would reauthorize the program for five years, encourage private insurers to enter the market, cap annual insurance premiums at $10,000, and grandfather existing rates for certain homes that are already covered and in compliance with building standards. It would also make money available for owners to elevate their homes or take other flooding precautions and enable communities to use flood mapping techniques that are more accurate than the government’s.

The bill would make a number of other reforms, including improvements to the processes for owners who file a claim or want to submit an appeal. “With a short extension on their side, leaders in the House and Senate should continue work on the 21st Century Flood Reform Act,” Brown said. “It’s in everyone’s interest to strengthen the NFIP and ensure the long-term certainty that current and future homeowners demand.”

Read more on the NAR-supported legislation.

—Robert Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine