ORLANDO, Fla. – Nov. 8, 2018 – On July 30, 2018, the U.S. Senate approved a four-month extension for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), that extended the coverage to Nov. 30, 2018 – three weeks from now. More than 5 million policyholders across the country rely on NFIP coverage.
Congress' stated goal is to extend the NFIP program for a multiple-year period, but with major changes that deal with a number of issues, notably its inability to operate in the black. However, an inability to do so has led to an ongoing series of short-term program extensions – about 16 from 2008 to 2012 – with the next one taking place at midnight on Nov. 30.
Before a July deadline, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) pushed Congress to extend the program, issuing a Call for Action and asking members to contact their personal representatives. As a result, almost 125,000 Realtors – about 15 percent of NAR's membership – contacted lawmakers in Congress to support an extension.
"Although the program is now extended through Nov. 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term," 2018 NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said at the time. "The National Association of Realtors will continue fighting for these reforms."
Short-term NFIP extensions don't change operations, they simply prolong current guidelines in order to give Congress more time to work on a comprehensive package that deals with the complex issues of affordability and coverage.
With each expiration of the NFIP program, there's a danger that it will go on hiatus, possibly for many weeks if lawmakers are using the lapse as leverage to pass a major bill. However, if Congress opts to merely approve another short-term extension, it's more likely they will do so before Nov. 30 or shortly thereafter.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®