February 09 / News

What’s the Latest News on NFIP Reform?

Jennifer McPhillipsAs 2019 came to a close, Congress passed a massive spending bill that included an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until September 30, 2020. This extension avoided a program lapse and creates a nine-month legislative window for Congress to consider program reforms.

Despite a media narrative of “Washington gridlock,” the upcoming year could provide an opportunity for policymakers to prove that they can still achieve bipartisan solutions to complex problems. One major area with the potential to see legislative movement is the reform and reauthorization of the NFIP.

While many sticking points remain, flood reform has a bipartisan appeal as evidenced by the House of Representatives’ overwhelming passage of a bill in June 2019 to reauthorize the NFIP for five years. This legislation created positive momentum for flood reform, but it was also complicated by legislation proposed in Senate.  Senators from coastal states including New Jersey and Louisiana introduced a separate bill that differed on key points, such as capping annual rate increases, and reauthorization discussions stalled at the end of 2019. Adding to the slowed progress on flood reform was the announcement that FEMA decided to defer the implementation of its Risk Rating 2.0 initiative by one year to October 1, 2021.

As conversations on flood reform proceed, issues such as affordability and mapping will continue to play a pivotal role in the negotiation process. To that end, Torrent will once again have a central role in the upcoming National Flood Conference, which is an event that holds significant clout with policymakers in Washington. Marsh will provide complimentary advocacy support, which advances the narrative that the industry needs stability in the flood market. The Torrent team, in conjunction with its Government Relations representatives in Washington, looks forward to working with Congress and industry stakeholders to address flood reform.

If you have any questions about legislative items relating to the NFIP, please contact Jen McPhillips at jennifer.mcphillips@mmc.com.