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Flood insurance program extended--again
By Insure.com staff

Congress passed yet another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, which was scheduled to expire Nov. 18.

The measure, part of a "minibus" spending bill, extends the program to Dec. 16.

Insurance industry officials praised the decision but urged lawmakers to continue working on a long-term reauthorization of the program.

Last year, the program lapsed four times, and property owners and renters could not purchase flood insurance coverage for a total of 53 days. Congress has managed to avoid lapses this year, but this is the third short-term extension in the last few months.

"More certainty is needed and as such, AIA encourages Congress to pass a long-term extension with meaningful reforms to strengthen the program," Tom Santos, vice president of federal affairs at the American Insurance Association, said in a prepared statement.

The program is $17.5 billion underwater because of losses. The program's rates are priced well below the cost of risk, according to a study released earlier this year by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). Insurers are pushing for more realistic pricing to reflect the true costs of risk.

About 5.5 million Americans use the flood insurance program to protect their homes, businesses and belongings. Flooding is not covered under standard home insurance policies.

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