In 2017, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which included necessary NFIP reforms. But due to inaction, the bill has been stalled in the Senate Banking Committee, forcing Congress to pass a series of short-term extensions to keep the dysfunctional program afloat.

To ensure the program is financially sustainable for future generations, SmarterSafer recommends the following NFIP reforms:

  • Increase focus on proactive resiliency measures that will reduce the potential for damage when storms hit. Studies show that every $1 invested in mitigation efforts saves the federal government and taxpayers $6 in disaster recovery.
  • Update and improve mapping techniques to ensure accurate, up-to-date risk analysis and ensure that rates can accurately reflect risk over time.
  • Allow consumer choice in flood insurance policies by clarifying that private insurance meets mandatory purchase requirements; this will allow consumers to access potentially better rates and higher coverage limits.
  • Ensure that risks and likelihood of flood events are communicated to any new purchaser of a property.
  • Continue to move towards a system of risk-based rates for all properties while providing assistance to lower-income policyholders, with an emphasis on subsidizing mitigation instead of rates.

SmarterSafer’s complete set of policy recommendations can be found here.


“Lawmakers cannot continue to delay reforming the program to address its mounting debt and better protect people, property and the environment during the upcoming hurricane season.”
— Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, Coastal Preservation Manager for The Surfrider Foundation
It’s simply common sense not to give taxpayer-funded incentives to build in areas we already know are going to flood.
— RJ Lehmann, Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade Policy at the R Street Institute