In about two weeks, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is set to expire, and its end could leave some 500,000 homeowners in Louisiana without coverage for flood damage.
When it was originally set to be discontinued last year, the US Senate voted in October in favor of maintaining the NFIP, extending its reauthorization to September 30, 2021. At that time, it was hoped that the extension would lead to more funding and reforms for the program.
Without another extension and the deadline fast approaching, the program faces cancelation once more. Local news outlet KLFY reported that should the NFIP discontinue, 500,000 Louisiana citizens would lose flood coverage.
“Louisiana is the most dependent on the National Flood Insurance Program compared to any state in America,” said Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.
Since the establishment of the NFIP in 1968, Louisiana has collected $19 billion from the program – billions more than any other state.
Donelon warned that should the NFIP be discontinued, hundreds of thousands of homeowners would be unable to live in parts of the state without the coverage.
Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy are co-sponsoring a bill which pushes the deadline to September 30, 2022. According to the senators, the NFIP has four goals: affordable premiums, accessibility to flood-prone areas, accountability to the taxpayer, and sustainability.
“There’s those who would frankly want to kill the program as if the private market would step in and provide what NFIP does. That’s not going to happen,” Cassidy told KLFY.
“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get this extension passed, and I just don’t want people worried about it,” said Kennedy, who added that he is working to fast-track the bill by skipping committee. The senator also said that he has spoken to the White House about signing the bill.