In the latest Commercial Podcast from NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong, news comes of the passage on Capitol Hill of the National Flood Insurance Program. You can hear the cast, called “Flood Insurance Win” in its entirety here.
On June 29th, the Senate passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Bill, and President Obama signed it into law on July 9th. This is a culmination of years of steady effort by NAR members and its legislative team, including a final push at NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings and REALTOR® Rally.
The years of temporary extensions to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were by definition unable to offer protections to commercial property markets, and in fact led twice to shutdowns, including one that stalled more than 40,000 real estate transactions requiring flood insurance for financing in June 2010 alone.
Reauthorization of NFIP means stakeholders will no longer need to take their chances in the virtually nonexistent market for private flood insurance. There are 21,000 communities across the US that require flood insurance as a financing prerequisite, and the passage of the bill ensure that 5.6 million business and home owners will have access to the coverage they need.
The bill addresses not just the coverage but also sources of the problem in the market. It has provisions for more accurate flood plain mapping so that the industry can better target where flood insurance is required and where it is not. Also included are provisions for a more streamlined process for challenging the accuracy of the flood plain map in use by the federal government in a business’s area of operation.
Biggert-Waters ensures that taxpayers will spend less for federal assistance for flood disasters over the long run. You can be sure NAR will carefully monitor the program’s new implementation and be on the lookout for reforms as needed to protect commercial property owners.
(Photo credit: Kynan Tait)