The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) praises Congress for finally passing one of the real estate industry’s key legislative priorities, a 5-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), also known as the “Biggers-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012.” President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the 5-year reauthorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage. The bill ensures the program will continue long-term for more than 5.6 million business- and home owners who rely on it.

The passage of the flood insurance bill is the culmination of a successful multi-year REALTOR® campaign and a final push at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May 2012. During their meetings SILVAR members joined thousands of REALTORS® nationwide and met with their members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and urged action on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and several other priority issues. 

Since 2008, Congress had been extending the NFIP a few months at a time. Twice this led to shutdowns, including one that stalled more than 40,000 home sales in June 2010 alone. The NFIP will be in effect until Sept. 30, 2017.

The NFIP has averted $16 billion in losses by strengthening millions of properties against floods. Without NFIP, there would be more uninsured and unmitigated properties, taxpayers would still be “on the hook” for disaster assistance to these properties, and there would be no premiums to pay down any remaining loan balance or collect interest.