Nearly seven years after Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey lawmakers are leading the charge to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program.
Reps. Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone have introduced a bill with bipartisan support in the House that would reauthorize the NFIP for five years, extending the program to Sept. 30, 2024.
The bill, called the The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, also includes changes to make the program fairer, more transparent and more efficient.
It lowers the cap on the amount premiums can increase each year and puts a limit on how much private insurance companies that participate in the NFIP can be compensated. The bill also puts in place protections to ensure homeowners who pay their premiums are treated fairly during the claims process.
“After Superstorm Sandy, insurance companies outright refused to make good on their promises to policyholders and instead pointed to the fine print while denying families who had lost everything,” Pallone said in a statement.
Sen. Bob Menendez will soon introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
“We’ve witnessed the NFIP fail our constituents in their greatest hour of need and, after countless reauthorizations that simply kick a broken can down the road, we want real reform,” he said in a statement.
The National Flood Insurance Program provides more than 220,000 policies in New Jersey.