House Flood Insurance Bill Will Fail to Protect People and Property

Statement by Shana Udvardy, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2017)—The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today on the 21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874), a bill that is supposed to address serious deficiencies with the National Flood Insurance Program, which is $24 billion in debt. According to an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the legislation does not go far enough to adequately protect homeowners or their property. 

Below is a statement by Shana Udvardy, a UCS climate preparedness specialist.

“As written, the flood insurance bill fails to provide the comprehensive reforms needed to ensure that the National Flood Insurance Program can better protect people and property. Although the bill does feature some good provisions, it also includes controversial proposals that would do nothing to put the program on firmer financial footing.

“Private flood insurance can and should play a key role alongside the federal program, but expanding private flood insurance without ensuring it meets at least the same standards as the federal policies could jeopardize the national program, which millions of Americans depend on.

“The bill also doesn’t mandate that private policies provide coverage that is at least as broad as that what the federal flood insurance program provides, leaving property owners at risk of buying policies without essential protections.

“Given the devastating impacts of the recent hurricanes, Congress must provide a transparent, bipartisan and well-considered process in reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program and not rush to pass H.R. 2874, a bill that is not only flawed, but hopefully fatally flawed.”