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National Flood Insurance Program

Nearly everyone agrees on flood insurance reform. So why is it taking so long to pass a bill?

The issue of extending and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program continues to stall in Congress. While the U.S. House version of a reauthorization bill passed in July 2011 by a significant margin, the bill has yet to get a floor vote in the U.S. Senate. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sponsor of a five-year extension [...]

In other flood insurance news, Sen. David Vitter’s bill to extend the flood program through Dec. 31 may get a vote in the Senate the first week of May.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jimmy Patronis, argues that FEMA’s concerns have already been satisfied. Others are not so sure.

The measure would offer a bit more time to finish work on long-term reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program before the end of the 112th Congress.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is asking Congress to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for two years, without any changes, even though the White House supports reforms that have passed the U.S. House and a key Senate committee.

Around Puget Sound, experts agree that subsidized federal flood insurance gives developers an incentive to destroy floodplains and damage key wildlife habitat.

The threat of losing access to the National Flood Insurance Program has recently prompted the State of Mississippi and Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish to adopt new building permit rules.

FEMA sides with agents over consumers

by R.J. Lehmann on April 18, 2012 · View Comments

Rather than encouraging flood insurance agents and brokers to compete, FEMA is ordering a halt to the practice of rebating commissions back to policyholders.

While the National Flood Insurance Program remains a flawed entity plagued by debt and mismanagement, simply eliminating it altogether would be disastrous for consumers and the real estate market. New reforms that alleviate some of the NFIP’s problems while giving the government insurer more financial flexibility is a sound intermediate step in fixing the nation’s [...]

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