WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and six Senate colleagues reintroduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and reform the program to cut waste, abuse and mismanagement. The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act improves the accountability, affordability, and sustainability of the NFIP. The bill will also place guardrails on FEMA’s new Risk Rating 2.0. system that stands to drastically increase Americans flood insurance premiums.
“We need to reform the NFIP to ensure it is affordable and accessible for the homeowner, accountable to the taxpayer, and sustainable for the future,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill is full of real solutions to achieve these goals.”
“Roughly half-a-million Louisianians depend on flood insurance to safeguard their homes and businesses. The National Flood Insurance Program protects workers and families who need to take care of their biggest investments—their homes. We have to extend this program and protect it from political games,” said Senator Kennedy.
The bill emphasizes prevention and mitigation efforts and addresses issues with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) management of the program, including low participation rates, inaccurate flood maps, indifference to the benefits of flood control infrastructure, unsustainable debt service costs, and contractor profiteering.
FEMA implemented its new NFIP rating system, known as Risk Rating 2.0., earlier this month, which is expected to cause rate hikes on insurance premiums, forcing homeowners to drop coverage or lose their homes. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that 900,000 policyholders (nearly 20% of program) will drop NFIP coverage as a result of Risk Rating 2.0. This bill will put guardrails on Risk Rating 2.0 to safeguard policyholders from sudden rate shocks. Cassidy and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) led a bipartisan group of colleagues urging FEMA to delay Risk Rating 2.0 last month.