Press Releases

Luetkemeyer, Castor Introduce Bill to Allow Flood Insurance Policyholders to Choose Policies without Penalty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Luetkemeyer (MO-03) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14) introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from penalizing consumers who choose to obtain flood insurance outside of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“American consumers should have the right to decide what flood insurance policy best fits their specific needs, whether it be an NFIP or private sector policy. Penalizing policyholders who have maintained continuous flood coverage just because they explored options in the private market is nonsensical and only deters families from finding more affordable options,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer.

“Families, homeowners, and small business owners across Florida deserve financial stability, peace of mind and less confusion when it comes to flood insurance," said Congresswoman Castor. "This bipartisan legislation is an important step towards providing consumers an alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program without penalty. Competition can bring lower prices and broaden the insurance pool to help reduce flood insurance rates that threaten hardworking families and small businesses. As we look towards another active hurricane season, I’m glad to work with my colleague Representative Luetkemeyer to ease cost burdens on hardworking Americans and increase consumer choice in continuous flood insurance coverage.”

In 2012, Congress enacted the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (Biggert-Waters Act) to reform the NFIP. Among other reforms, the Biggert-Waters Act required federal lending institutions to accept certain non-NFIP insurance policies to satisfy the NFIP’s mandatory purchase requirement.

“The RAA applauds Representatives Castor and Luetkemeyer for their leadership in reintroducing this important legislation to remove an impediment to consumers buying private flood insurance to protect their homes and businesses, putting an end to consumer uncertainty and limits on consumers’ flood insurance options and choices.  It’s a win for consumers if they have more flood insurance options that include policies offered by the National Flood Insurance Program and those offered by private insurers. The Castor-Luetkemeyer legislation provides an important assurance to consumers, specifically current and future NFIP policyholders, that if they leave the NFIP to secure a private flood policy and later re-assume an NFIP policy, they will be in compliance with the law’s continuous coverage requirements and, therefore, not subject to potential, substantial rate increase by the NFIP.” - Frank Nutter, President, Reinsurance Association of America

“With member firms that place 90% of the commercial property and casualty insurance products in the US, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (The Council) would like to thank Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-03) for their efforts to provide clarification on continuous coverage within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Congress has continually made efforts to incentivize growth in the private flood market, especially in regard to requiring lenders to accept private policies that meet the conditions of the mandatory purchase requirement. However, the issue of continuous coverage remains to be a matter for policyholders seeking options outside of the NFIP. Current NFIP policyholders should be allowed to move to and from the private flood insurance market without penalty. A break in continuous coverage should not be considered if a policyholder decides to move back to the NFIP from the private market. The Council supports any effort to strengthen the NFIP and provide private market options for policyholders. We are grateful for the work of Congresswoman Castor and Congressman Luetkemeyer on this issue to give policyholders the flexibility and stability needed in their flood insurance coverage.” – Ken Crerar, CEO, Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

“APCIA strongly supports H.R. 4699 that recognizes a private flood insurance policy as a method of meeting the continuous coverage requirement. We are thankful for the leadership of Representatives Castor and Luetkemeyer for their steadfast support to ensure policyholders are able to purchase the flood insurance policy that works best for them, no matter if it is through the NFIP or the private market, without the threat of being unfairly punished if they choose to return to the NFIP.”- Nat Wienecke, APCIA’s Senior Vice President of Federal Government Relations

Full bill text can be found HERE.