Press Releases

Luetkemeyer Reintroduces Bills to Reform NFIP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) reintroduced four bills to provide commonsense reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“With thousands of miles of shoreline along the Lake of the Ozarks, Mississippi River, Missouri River, and Osage River, Missouri’s Third District has seen more than our fair share of flooding over the years. We are at Mother Nature’s mercy with the amount of rain and snow we receive, but making sure our area is well-equipped with the necessary resources to handle flooding is always at the top of my priority list,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “The NFIP has been mismanaged for decades, and despite bipartisan calls for comprehensive reform, worthwhile action has yet to be taken in Congress. These bills would bring meaningful, permanent change to the program and make the NFIP more financially sound, give power back to the local officials it affects, and protect American taxpayers from paying for future flood losses.”

The Taxpayer Exposure Mitigation Act requires FEMA to purchase reinsurance or some capital market alternative to protect taxpayers from footing the bill for future losses.

“Since 2005, the NFIP has borrowed tens of billions of dollars to weather a series of catastrophic floods.  Strengthening FEMA’s authority to purchase reinsurance will help transfer risk away from the taxpayer to the private sector.  It’s a positive step forward and should be considered as part of a comprehensive restructuring of the program to be sustainable over the long term,” said Shannon McGahn, Chief Advocacy Officer, National Association of Realtors.

“APCIA strongly supports the Taxpayer Exposure Mitigation Act and legislation requiring the use of replacement cost value in determining premium rates for flood insurance coverage under the National Flood Insurance Act. Representative Luetkemeyer has led the way to provide taxpayer protection and allow those impacted by flooding to recover more quickly. We urge Congress to enact these two bills,” said Nat Wienecke, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Relations at American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).

“As communities and families across the country continue to face devastating floods, we thank and commend Congressman Luetkemeyer for his continued leadership, strong support and advocacy for the NFIP Reinsurance Program, and for introducing the ‘Taxpayer Exposure Mitigation Act’ to enhance it. We strongly believe in the value of the Reinsurance Program and appreciate that the bill includes important factors for FEMA to consider as part of risk transfer. FEMA’s NFIP Reinsurance Program has successfully enlisted private reinsurance and capital and strengthened the NFIP’s ability to pay policyholder claims after catastrophic floods and helps to protect taxpayers against NFIP losses following an extreme flooding event.  The great benefit of the Reinsurance Program was evident when over $1 billion in reinsurance was recovered by FEMA to pay claims resulting from Hurricane Harvey in 2017,” said Frank Nutter, President, Reinsurance Association of America.

The Community Mapping Act allows local communities to develop alternative flood maps, shifting power from Washington bureaucrats to those who know their community best. This provision was included in H.R. 2246, which passed the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 36-24 in the 115th Congress.

“Giving states and communities flexibility to build accurate flood maps with the knowledge they uniquely possess could go a long way in modernizing the way we plan for floods,” said Shannon McGahn, Chief Advocacy Officer, National Association of Realtors. “This bill empowers communities while keeping strong standards and oversight in place.”

Congressman Luetkemeyer also reintroduced a bill to require the use of replacement cost value in determining the premium rates for flood insurance coverage under the NFIP, ensuring homeowners pay their fair share and do not subsidize America’s wealthier coastal homeowners.

Finally, Congressman Luetkemeyer introduced a bill allowing commercial properties to opt-out of the NFIP mandatory purchase requirement, allowing businesses to more easily purchase private flood coverage.