SARASOTA, Fla. (WTXL/WWSB) - The fate of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) continues to be up in the air.
The program aims to reduce the impact of flooding by providing affordable insurance to property owners. But, the rash of recent catastrophic disasters has bankrupted the program and left the government to debate its future.
The program's funding is set to expire on Friday, December 22nd. Florida insurance agent Florence Conlan said the change could have major impacts to those in high risk flood zones.
"This could be rather detrimental because the program will not be able to make any changes or revisions to any existing policies and any closings with new purchases where flood insurance is required would probably not be able to close because they won't be able to write new flood insurance polices," added Conlan.
In the unlikely event the NFIP’s authorization lapses, FEMA says it would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation.
The National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might result in the delay or cancellation of approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month nationwide.
NFIP currently has about five million policies. As lawmakers finalize the budget, flood insurance is expected to be one of the controversial issues being discussed.
You can read more about re-authorization of the program here.