Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

None at this time.

In-Depth

Letters to Congress

Congressional testimonies

Letters to federal agencies

Issue summary - National Flood Insurance Program

Issue summary - Private Flood Insurance Options

NAR Federal Issues Tracker


Legislative Contact(s):

Austin Perez, aperez@nar.realtor
202-383-1046

Regulatory Contact(s):

Austin Perez, aperez@nar.realtor
202-383-1046

What is the fundamental issue?

Congress must reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before February 18, 2022 to continue providing flood insurance on a sustainable, long-term basis.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. While there is a growing private market for flood insurance, millions of small business and home owners currently depend on the NFIP to protect their property against flooding, the most costly and common natural disaster in the United States. Without a federal insurance program, more property owners could become uninsured and turn to the Federal government for taxpayer-funded disaster aid and rebuilding assistance after major floods.

NAR Policy:

NAR Supports:

  • Reauthorizing and strengthening NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run;
  • Encouraging the development of a more robust private flood insurance market to offer comparable coverage at lower cost than the NFIP;
  • Providing federal assistance and resources for property owners to build to higher standards, mitigate the risk of flooding, and keep insurance rates affordable;
  • More granularly pricing NFIP policies to better reflect the property's specific risk but gradually phasing in increases over time; and
  • Improving flood map accuracy so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

NFIP's insurance-writing authority is next set to expire on February 18, 2022. NAR is urging the 117th Congress to turn to a long-term reauthorization and reform measure at the first available opportunity.

On March 13, 2014, Congress passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which:

  • Repealed FEMA's authority to raise insurance rates at the time of property sale;
  • Rewound premiums back to pre-Biggert Waters levels and gradually phases-in full risk rates over time;
  • Limited future rate increases to no more than 18% annually for newer properties and 25% for older ones;
  • Added a nominal surcharge to NFIP policies until property owners pay full-risk rates; and
  • Established the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate to help property owners with flood mapping and insurance rating concerns.

On July 6, 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act reauthorizing NFIP for 5 years and including numerous reforms to flood mapping, mitigation assistance and private flood insurance options.

NAR Committee:

Insurance Committee