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NAR Helps Secure FEMA Reversal On New Flood Policies During Shutdown

January 2, 2019 in National Advocacy

In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown
of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an
unexpected and controversial ruling
the agency released earlier
this week.

“FEMA and the Administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns
and acting swiftly to address them,” NAR President John Smaby said. “This new decision
means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can
go forward without interruption, as Congress intended when it renewed the flood
insurance program earlier this week. Our research has shown that 40,000 home
sales are lost every month that flood insurance is not available.”

Congress on Dec. 21 passed legislation that extends the National Flood
Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though,
FEMA on Dec. 26 said it couldn’t allow insurers to issue and renew federal
policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was
unexpected because in past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the
program as authorized. NAR, along with other organizations, including the
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance
Agents & Brokers of America, urged policy makers to reevaluate the
decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

“We thank the Administration and Congress for stepping up so quickly
to ensure the smooth continuation of flood insurance at a time when market
disruption would be extremely hard-felt,” Shannon McGahn, NAR senior vice president
of government affairs said.

– Originally published

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