Zeldin, Maloney Incentivize Mitigation, Protect Co-ops in Committee Passage of National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization
WASHINGTON - Representatives Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D, NY-12) secured committee passage of their bipartisan provisions as part of the House Financial Services Committee’s passage of the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3167), which now heads to the House floor for a full House vote.
Their provisions would result in a credit to homeowners with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies who invest in mitigation activities, such as elevating their homes, adding porous foundations or moving boilers to a higher floor, which would result in lower premiums and help reduce the cost to homeowners and would also require FEMA to better cover co-op units within NFIP.
Furthermore, H.R. 3167 would:
- Reauthorize NFIP for five years through September 30, 2024.
- Modernize mapping – Require FEMA to employ updated mapping technology and expand current flood mapping to all areas of the U.S.
- Benefit policyholders – Allow NFIP policyholders who leave the program to purchase a private insurance policy to return to NFIP without penalty and requires FEMA to create a coverage disclosure sheet for policyholders.
- Protect taxpayer dollars – Require a new annual independent actuarial study of NFIP to analyze its financial status, recommend changes, and evaluate its accuracy.
- Hold bad actors accountable – Require FEMA to prohibit false or fraudulent statements connected to the preparation, production or submission of claims adjustment or engineering reports, and prohibits hiring any attorney in connection with the program who has been suspended or disbarred.
Congressman Zeldin said, “In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, we witnessed just how many Long Island homeowners rely on our nation’s broken National Flood Insurance Program, and I’ve heard time and time again from homeowners across our district about their frustration. More can and must be done to protect homeowners’ access to affordable insurance and improve the way claims are processed so policyholders aren’t saddled with bureaucracy and red tape after their property is damaged by a flood. Our important provisions shift the focus toward mitigation, incentivising homeowners and communities to take proactive steps to protect against flood damage. Despite homeowners doing the right thing and elevating or renovating their home to protect their property, many have not seen a return on their investment in the form of lower NFIP premiums. Our bipartisan provisions would ensure that preparedness is a critical focus to protect life and property. I thank Congresswoman Maloney for her continued partnership with this, and look forward to working with all of my colleagues in Congress to get this bill on the House floor and passed.”
Congresswoman Maloney said, “The flood insurance program covers all types of communities and so should mitigation options. These provisions take into account mitigation options are not one size fits all – you cannot raise a 50-story building in the middle of New York City, but you can elevate mechanical systems like boilers. Effective mitigation of flood risks helps policyholders and taxpayers; it helps policyholders because they can receive lower premiums when they’ve reduced their flood risk and it helps taxpayers because it reduces the risk that FEMA will have to pay out large claims when there’s a flood. I’m proud to have worked with Rep. Zeldin in this effort.”