You are here:HomeNews CenterPIA Press Releases2019PIA Decries Objection to Two-Week Extension, Urges Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

PIA Decries Objection to Two-Week Extension, Urges Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Action puts the NFIP on the brink of lapse right at the beginning of hurricane season.
May 28, 2019

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) expresses deep disappointment that Congress has now put the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on the brink of lapse at the beginning of hurricane season, due to an objection to two bills in the House of Representatives. The House is currently out of session, but can pass legislation in pro forma session using unanimous consent if no members object. A recorded vote cannot take place until the House returns next week.

Late last week, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) objected to the unanimous-consent passage of H.R. 2157, disaster relief legislation that also includes a 4-month extension of the NFIP. The bill was brought up again today, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) objected and demanded a recorded vote.

In addition, the House leadership today tried to pass S. 1693, the standalone legislation that would provide a two-week extension of the NFIP, which will expire this coming Friday, May 31, unless Congress acts to extend it; this bill passed the Senate last week. Unfortunately, the House GOP objected to this as well, and also demanded a recorded vote.

“PIA is disappointed by the objection to a simple, two-week extension of the program. Putting consumers and our nation’s economy at risk for political gamesmanship is unconscionable,” said Jon Gentile, vice president of government relations for PIA National. “One only need look at the recent devastating flooding in the Midwest to know how high the stakes are for homeowners. Putting the NFIP on the brink of lapse right at the beginning of hurricane season displays, at best, indifference and, at worse, a callous disregard for the seriousness of flooding events.”

Consumers are unable to renew existing policies or purchase new flood insurance policies during a lapse; however, claims can be paid on existing, in-force policies. Many consumers engaged in real estate transactions may experience disruptions because of a lapse, with home sales in which the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory put on indefinite hold. If flooding events occur during a lapse, some claims will not be processed until the program is reauthorized. Prior NFIP lapses are estimated to have caused disruption in over one thousand home sales per day, and the longer the lapse, the greater the disruption.

“The gamesmanship needs to come to an end and the House must be allowed to pass an extension of the NFIP on a voice vote before it expires this Friday. Congress must then get serious about providing a long-term reauthorization of the program to avoid such spectacles,” Gentile said.

PIA calls on Congress to pass an extension of the NFIP immediately.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM.PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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