Dear Representative,

The R Street Institute urges all members to vote yes on H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015, sponsored by Reps. Dennis Ross and Patrick Murphy. The legislation is a necessary follow-up to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, as it clarifies Congress’ intent to encourage the development of a private market in flood-insurance products to compete with the taxpayer-subsidized policies offered through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The NFIP is more than $20 billion in debt to U.S. taxpayers. Shifting the risk for the program’s $1.1 trillion of total property exposure requires a thriving private market, which insurers and reinsurers are willing to provide. However, the current statutory language unnecessarily limits the available admitted policies and stymies development of acceptable options in the private sector.

H.R. 2901 defers to the states’ expertise in insurance regulation to develop appropriate guidelines for qualifying policies, including those written through the excess and surplus lines markets. Additionally, it ensures that any period in which a property is covered either by an NFIP policy or a private policy is to be considered “continuous coverage.”

These commonsense adjustments and clarifications represent important steps toward flood insurance reform. It’s long past time to put the NFIP on a fiscally sound trajectory and provide those living in flood-prone properties more choice. We urge all members to support this bill.

R Street Institute

Featured Publications