March 13, 2019

NAFCU offers support for House NFIP proposal

Capitol DomeAhead of today's House Financial Services Committee hearing on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), NAFCU's Brad Thaler reiterated the association's call for a multi-year reauthorization of the program and offered support for a number of provisions included in draft legislation from Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

NAFCU will attend today's hearing, set to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern. The NFIP is currently set to expire May 31.

"NAFCU supports a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP," wrote Thaler, NAFCU's vice president of legislative affairs. "The recent reauthorizations of the NFIP that have amounted to only short-term extensions, with brief program lapses, have created a high level of uncertainty for the millions of families who rely on flood insurance policies.

"This market uncertainty puts a damper on the lending volume of our nation's credit unions and the economic activity of their members," he added.

Waters' discussion draft of bipartisan legislation proposes some reforms aimed at making flood insurance more affordable and would provide reauthorization for five years. Within the draft, Thaler said NAFCU is supportive of:

  • addressing the affordability of flood insurance;
  • raising the coverage limits;
  • providing funds for improved mapping technology;
  • mitigating fraud and abuse within the claims system; and
  • taking steps to continue the financial solvency of the program to maintain market stability.

NAFCU has previously pushed for a number of these improvements to the NFIP. Thaler also cautioned against legislation that would increase annual premium rates too quickly.

In addition, five federal agencies – including the NCUA – recently finalized an interagency rule that requires mortgage lenders to accept both private and government-backed flood insurance policies.