US House aims to extend flood insurance program

WASHINGTON, May 8 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. Representative Barney
Frank introduced legislation on Friday to extend the National
Flood Insurance Program through September, which would give
Congress more time to fix the troubled program.

The insurance program, important to more than 5 million
homes and businesses in flood plains, has been in debt since
major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. Reform efforts stalled in
Congress last year.

“This program is too critical to our housing recovery to be
allowed to lapse,” Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, who
chairs a subcommittee working on the issue, said in a
statement.

Twice this year, the program — which provides flood
coverage through more than 90 companies that sell policies and
collect premiums for a fee — has lapsed, affecting people
trying to buy homes in flood-prone areas, Waters said.

Insurers like Allstate (ALL.N: ), Travelers (TRV.N: ), Hartford
Financial Services (HIG.N: ) and Fidelity National Financial
(FNF.N: ) are closely watching the debate.

The House Financial Services Committee, which is led by
Frank, is working on reauthorizing the program for five years
and wants to make a series of changes to help it work better.
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Frank’s bill would extend the program’s ability to write
and renew flood insurance policies from its May 31 deadline
through Sept. 30.

Stock Market Research

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton)

US House aims to extend flood insurance program