Government Shutdown: FEMA and Flood Insurance

As many of you are aware, FEMA recently declined to issue additional flood insurance policies claiming the sale of such policies were a non-essential service that must be discontinued as a result of the Federal Government partial shut-down. NAHB Chairman, Randy Noel, released a statement condemning such action and commenced imploring FEMA to reconsider its declaration. Thanks to the efforts of NAHB, FEMA has reconsidered its position and as of late last week is once again issuing Flood Insurance Policies.

Chairman Noel insightfully responded to FEMA’s misguided decision stating, “The nation’s home builders are deeply disappointed that FEMA has chosen to ignore the will of Congress to keep the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) fully funded through May 31, 2019. By refusing to renew or sell flood insurance policies as a result of the federal shutdown, FEMA is not only thwarting congressional intent, but also hurting countless home owners across the nation who reside in flood-prone areas and rely on the NFIP to protect their properties against the risk of flooding.

FEMA’s short-sighted action threatens to wreak havoc in many real estate markets from coast-to-coast at a time when the nation is already struggling through a housing affordability crisis. We strongly urge FEMA to rethink this ill-advised action and abide by the will of Congress by moving to immediately allow new flood insurance policies to be written and renew existing policies for the duration of the government shutdown. A failure to act responsibly will have devastating consequences for the housing market.”

Though FEMA finally reached the correct decision and continues authorizing new policies, keep in mind that the partial shutdown of the Federal Government continues and such decisions could be revisited. The National Flood Insurance Program has been “temporarily” extended on several occasions absent any reforms addressing its solvency issues. This is a good time to remind ourselves that Florida boasts the most viable private flood insurance market in the nation.

Click here to explore Florida’s private flood insurers.

Thanks to NAHB for responding quickly and diligently to have the FEMA decision reversed.