Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., (NJ-06) praised legislation today that passed through the House and would help American families affordably protect their homes from flooding. The Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act will extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five years and reform the program by expanding coverage and providing homeowners with more control over their insurance.
The key provision of the bill delays the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement resulting from new floods maps for 5 years, which has impacted towns along the Bayshore in the sixth congressional district over the past few years. Those who currently have flood insurance pursuant to new flood maps may choose not to renew their policy when it expires. The 5-year delay period begins when the maps became effective. Following the 5-year delay, the bill allows for an additional 5-year phase-in of insurance rates for newly mapped areas.
"In these tough economic times, it is my hope that this will lessen the financial burdens on New Jerseyans but help raise the level of protection," said Pallone. "This legislation allows homeowners greater flexibility in paying for flood insurance while at the same time improving the quality of coverage and protection they receive."
More than five million homes and businesses currently rely on the NFIP, which is the primary source of reliable and affordable flood insurance coverage. This bill secures the long-term viability of the program by encouraging participation, increasing financial accountability, and eliminating unnecessary premium subsidies.
This reform bill updates the NFIP, established over 40 years ago, to meet the needs of the 21st century. It raises maximum coverage limits for the first time since 1994, providing a stronger safety net for families threatened by flooding. The bill also provides families with greater flexibility and options, by allowing them to pay for flood insurance in installments, creating the office of the Flood Insurance Advocate to protect and assist policyholders.
The bill awaits final consideration and approval in the Senate before these provisions go into effect.