The U.S. House passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus federal government spending package to fund the federal government to September 30, 2022. An extension of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was included in this bill, also to September 30.
The measure now heads to the Senate, which needs to pass it before midnight tomorrow, March 11, to prevent a shutdown of the federal government and a lapse of the NFIP. In case the Senate needs more time to pass the omnibus, the House also passed a 4-day extension, which the Senate would also have to pass, so the federal government doesn’t shut down and the NFIP doesn’t lapse.
The history of NFIP extensions has been notoriously messy. The program was extended 17 times between 2008 and 2012, at which time the NFIP was reauthorized again for five years. That multi-year reauthorization was the NFIP’s last long-term renewal to date. It expired on September 30, 2017, and the NFIP is now on its 19th short-term extension since then.
Every time Congress opts for another short-term extension, the program’s risk of lapse increases, and, predictably, the NFIP briefly lapsed three times in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, even short lapses can have a negative effect on consumers and the economy. If the NFIP does lapse, it would no longer have the authority to issue new policies or renew existing ones, among other limitations. Historically, the program continues to adjust and pay claims arising out of flood losses incurred before or during a lapse while the lapse is in progress.
PIA is encouraging the Senate to pass the extension to September 30 as soon as possible.