For Immediate Release: July 31, 2018
Contact: Jayden Lapin, 646-205-7736, firstname.lastname@example.org
SMARTERSAFER WELCOMES SHORT TERM EXTENSION OF NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM BUT URGES CONGRESS TO ADVANCE COMPREHENSIVE REFORMS TO SAVE TAXPAYERS BILLIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer, a national coalition of environmental groups, taxpayer advocates, insurance stakeholders, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, released the following statement in response to Congress enacting a critical short-term extension to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through November, preventing a lapse during peak hurricane season. Despite the program’s crushing $25 billion-dollar debt, the NFIP supplies more than 5.2 million vulnerable property owners with vital flood insurance coverage.
“SmarterSafer welcomes Congressional action on a short-term extension of the NFIP before the July 31st deadline to ensure Americans are protected in the midst of hurricane season. However, Congress should use the next four months to finally reform the program that has cost taxpayers almost $40 billion dollars. Leaders in Congress should not continue to allow short-term extensions that reinforce the status quo, but should pass a comprehensive legislative package that addresses the NFIP’s financial insolvency and better protects the environment and people in harm’s way.
“The critical overhaul of the nation’s broken flood insurance program must prioritize reforms that promote mitigation against the threat of flooding, update and improve antiquated flood-risk maps and ensure full communication of flood-risk data to communities and home-buyers. Congress must also empower consumer choice in the marketplace by clarifying that private flood insurance is an alternative to the one-size-fits-all NFIP. These reforms will re-establish solid financial footing for the NFIP and contribute to a smarter, safer and more robust system of flood insurance to protect the people and property in the path of severe weather events.”
SmarterSafer recently sent a letter to congressional leaders urging long-term reform to the National Flood Insurance Program. Click here to learn more.
SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the Federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters. At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers. Measures such as subsidizing artificially low rates for homeowners’ insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not incentivize people to live in harm’s way in places prone to hurricanes and floods.