Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06), Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA-03) announced the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2021.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a lifeline to thousands of U.S. households that are ravaged by floods every year. The bill makes the program more affordable, creates greater transparency, and injects fairness into the claims process. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey will introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey nine years ago, and my constituents still know all too well how important a flood insurance program is after major flooding events. After the storm, 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. The National Flood Insurance Program must be both affordable and fair – otherwise it just doesn’t work. This bill delivers a long-term flood insurance program reauthorization that improves the program based on the realities of major weather events like Sandy,” said Congressman Pallone. “This legislation will go a long way to strengthen our flood insurance program so that homeowners in my district are protected from the devastating effects of future flooding.”
“We know New Jerseyans got screwed with red tape that slowed our recovery after Hurricane Sandy,” said Congressman Pascrell. “I remember Sandy’s devastation like it was yesterday. Our neighbors saw their entire lives swept away in an instant. The new Risk Rating program FEMA is unilaterally imposing will increase premiums for over 170,000 policy holders in New Jersey. Our bipartisan bill will make the program more affordable and fairer. Additionally, our legislation has safeguards to stop premiums from being jacked up; it will help people prepare prior to a storm with accurate maps and flood prevention investments; it will strengthen the claims process so survivors get what they need to rebuild; and it will bring much-needed accountability to the Write Your Own program. We owe so much to our flooding victims and are working hard to see these reforms enacted this Congress. I want to especially thank Senator Menendez for his dedication to making our flood insurance program better.”
“It is time Congress stops kicking the can down the road with reauthorizations that do not address the systemic problems plaguing this program. With this legislation, we can make NFIP more sustainable, we can make flood insurance more affordable, and we can hold FEMA and its private contractors more accountable,” said Senator Menendez. “And instead of waiting for the next disaster to strike, we can invest in mitigation that prevents costly flood damage in the first place.”
Comprehensive flood insurance that lowers premiums will provide peace of mind for New Jerseysans.