President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed into law a four-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. The program had been due to expire at midnight on July 31, but the Senate followed the House in approving the extension.

“While this four-month extension was crucial, we cannot keep kicking the can down the road and delaying much needed reforms,” said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, vowing to address the fundamental flaws of the program, which will allow the NFIP to move forward on a path to affordability and sustainability.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) covers 1.8 million homeowners in Florida. Realtors have been urging the extension of the program for months. Almost 125,000 Realtors contacted their representatives asking them to take action to preserve this important program. This extension does not alter the NFIP. It extends the current program to give Congress more time to work on needed reforms on a program that is in debt.

“Although the program is now extended through Nov. 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term,” says National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “The National Association of Realtors will continue fighting for these reforms.”

Florida might be considered a donor state to the NFIP because we have paid approximately four times more into the program than we have received in claims payments since the program’s inception in 1968. As of now, the NFIP is about $20 billion dollars in debt, largely due to the effects of storms that occurred in various states over the last decade. Senator Marco Rubio had the following to say in an email we received from his office:

“I have consistently supported solutions that provide policy holders with a flood program that is fiscally sustainable and affordable. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-141) was enacted to ensure the solvency of the NFIP, but it became apparent that these changes would negatively impact Florida’s families and real estate market. In order to resolve unaffordable rate increases stemming from this 2012 law,”

If you haven’t contacted your representative about NFIP reforms, I urge you to do so. Encourage them to make responsible decisions that take into account the effects reform will have a real people.

Dave Ranck