Earlier this month, the Obama Administration released an official statement through the Office of Management and Budget stating that it supports the reauthorization and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”). H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (the “Act”), would, among other things:
- extend the NFIP through the 2016 fiscal year;
- establish a Technical Mapping Advisory Council to develop new mapping standards for 100-year flood insurance rate maps;
- allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) greater flexibility to set premium rates;
- require the study of options, methods, and strategies for privatizing the NFIP; and
- increase FEMA’s reporting obligations to Congress.
The Administration believes that the Act would provide “improved protection for American taxpayers by requiring FEMA to use actuarial principles in determining full flood risk rates for certain properties.” The NFIP is currently $1.8 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.The Act is currently under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives.