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Another Short-term Flood Insurance Extension Likely

fThe National Flood Insurance Program will likely get another short-term extension before its Dec. 8 expiration date, NAR Senior Legislative Policy Representative Austin Perez told REALTORS® at a federal legislative forum Friday at the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago.

The short-term extension will give lawmakers in Congress time to finalize a longer-term revamping of the program, which is tens of billions of dollars in debt after major storms over the last decade, most recently Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

One of the major sticking points is what to do about properties that have flooded more than once, said Perez.

Lawmakers are grappling with how treat these properties and how much to let premiums rise to cover program costs, among other things.

“Right now, there’s a $1.4 billion shortfall between premiums that are collected and what the program costs to run annually,” he said.

NAR supports the “21st Century Flood Insurance Reform Act,” which would keep the insurance going for the long-term and make changes to increase program efficiency. Flood insurance is required on any properties with federally related mortgages in some 22,000 communities in flood-hazard areas.

The bill is high on Congress’ to-do list. “We need one more temporary extension to get deal done on a bigger bill,” Perez said.

More on flood insurance.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at rfreedman@realtors.org.

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