NFIP Back On Track After FEMA Relents
For two days after Christmas, it looked like the National Flood Insurance
Program (NFIP) would get pulled into the federal government shutdown. But
then quick action by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and business groups,
prompted a reversal by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).
On December 26, five days after Congress extended, and the president signed
into law a six-month extension of the NFIP, FEMA notified stakeholders that,
despite Congress's action, the NFIP would not be permitted to operate normally.
As a result, agents and insurance carriers that administered NFIP policies were
advised that they were prohibited from selling NFIP policies during the shutdown.
PIA National, along with other members of industry, sprang into action, urging
congressional leaders and contacts in the administration to reach an immediate
resolution to this untenable situation. They were joined by key members of
Congress, who maintained that FEMA had made a big mistake.
Then late Friday Dec. 28, FEMA
rescinded the guidance it had issued just two
days earlier that insurers should no longer sell new policies backed by the
flood insurance program during the government shutdown. Stakeholders had pointed
out that FEMA's action contradicted Congress' passage of a six-month extension of
the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on the evening of Dec. 21, just hours
before the government shutdown began.
READ: Yes, FEMA is still selling flood insurance policies
David I. Maurstad, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation
with FEMA, issued a statement late Dec. 28, saying:
"On December 26, 2018, FEMA informed you that due to a lapse in annual
appropriation the NFIP may not sell new insurance policies, renew existing
policies, or make monetary endorsements on existing policies. Effective
immediately, this guidance is rescinded and NFIP Insurers may resume the
sale, renewal, and monetary endorsements for flood insurance policies.
Please treat the program as operational since December 21, 2018 without
interruption. We appreciate your support, understanding, and patience
these past few days."