Congress shouldn’t let flood insurance program expire

Unless members of Congress take action, authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire at the end of this month—September 30.

We can’t let that happen. While NFIP isn’t a household name, often it’s the only flood insurance available in a given market. That’s important, because if a property is in the 100 Year Floodplain, lenders will require flood insurance as part of the mortgage approval process.

When the program lapses, the NFIP can’t issue new policies or even renew existing ones. The last time Congress allowed that to happen, the National Association of REALTORS® estimated that 40,000 home sales were at stake every month.

flooded street and vehicle strandedThis isn’t just an issue for waterfront homes either. Flooding can occur as a result of storm surge, severe rain or even snow melt. So don’t think that just because you’re not in a defined flood plain you aren’t vulnerable. Now in Oklahoma, we don’t see that kind of snow, but we do have many rivers and lakes that cause property to be vulnerable. It’s no surprise that more than 22,000 communities across the country depend on the NFIP.

Being an active member of of the National Association of REALTORS®, I know this is important. After all, if flood insurance isn’t available, we’re the ones who may have to tell clients that their dream home is off the table until the NFIP is extended.

Consumers deserve better.

aerial view of floodTake Shawnee, for example. We are sometimes host to the remnants of hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico. By the time they arrive here, however, they’ve usually been downgraded to tropical depressions. They still tend to produce extremely heavy rains over a sustained period and often lead to flooding throughout Pottawatomie County. Flooding is a concern, although the most common occurrence is flash flooding when rainfall is exceedingly heavy and storm drains are unable to handle the runoff from the event.

Representative Steve Russell and the rest of the Oklahoma delegation should put their support behind “The 21st Century Flood Reform Act” to strengthen the NFIP and ensure it doesn’t lapse. 22,000 communities are counting on Congress to get the job done.

Members of the National Association of REALTORS® around the country are sending messages to members of Congress to get on this before it expires September 30. You can send one too (unless you’re a REALTOR® too, you might make a quick edit to the first sentence).

Tell Congress to Pass Flood Insurance Reform Now