On November 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it is delaying the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0, a major overhaul of flood insurance rates under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Risk Rating 2.0 is meant to provide more specific, accurate information about properties covered by the NFIP. Risk Rating 2.0 is expected to lead to changes in rates for many homeowners. The new system was supposed to be implemented on October 1, 2020, but its implementation has been delayed until October 2021.
The delay comes after several members of Congress, primarily congressional delegations representing Gulf coast regions and the New York and New Jersey coastline, registered strong opposition to Risk Rating 2.0. These concerns have complicated efforts to bring a key bipartisan legislative package, which passed the House Financial Services Committee unanimously, to the House floor for a vote. This legislation, which would reform and reauthorize the NFIP for five years, includes other important reforms to the program and preserves the critical role of the independent agent. In addition, it provides continuous coverage protection to policyholders who leave the NFIP to purchase a private flood policy and return to the program, which is a top priority for PIA National.
With the delay of Risk Rating 2.0, PIA National issued a press release calling on House leadership to bring the NFIP package to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. The NFIP is now on its 13th short-term continuation since its last long-term extension ended in 2017. It is set to expire, yet again, in less than two weeks, on November 21. It is past time for Congress to move forward with a long-term reauthorization, and, with Risk Rating 2.0 concerns temporarily ameliorated, Congress has every reason to act quickly on this bipartisan legislation.