MARCH 2, 2016

SmarterSafer urges Reps. Sinema and Schweikert to back proposal to expand consumer choice on flood insurance

35,000 Arizona homeowners could benefit from congressional flood insurance proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. —, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates urged Arizona Reps. Kyrsten Sinema and David Schweikert to back a proposal that expands consumer choice on flood insurance. 

In a letter, the groups wrote that The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (H.R. 2901) would allow more private insurers to offer flood insurance to the more than 35,000 Arizona homeowners who use the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is sinking under $24 billion in debt.

SmarterSafer’s letter comes in advance of a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the bill, which has already received bipartisan support from more than 20 lawmakers. A copy of the letter addressed to Rep. Sinema is pasted below, and a separate copy was sent to Rep. Schweikert.

In a statement, said, “In a partisan election year, lawmakers from either side of the aisle can support this legislation as a commonsense approach to fixing our broken federal flood insurance program. Fostering a more robust marketplace for private insurers will not only provide consumers with more options for purchasing flood insurance, but can drive down prices across the board. We urge Reps. Sinema and Schweikert to support this important bill so that homeowners in Arizona and around the country are able to make well-informed flood insurance decisions – ultimately lowering costs and better protecting lives and property.”

The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act was reintroduced last June by Reps. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and clarifies federal rules to allow private companies into the flood insurance market. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Remove regulations that make it difficult for private companies to enter the flood insurance market.
  • Give states more flexibility to individually regulate private flood insurance as they see fit.
  • Ensure that policyholders will not lose their flood insurance subsidies if they switch to a private insurer and then decide to switch back to the NFIP.

In January, SmarterSafer released a series of recommendations to reform the NFIP, which include the efforts laid out in the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act. A complete set of SmarterSafer’s policy recommendations are available here and attached.