The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides up to $350,000 of flood insurance coverage were required for a federally backed mortgage in 22,000 communities nationwide. It also provides an alternative to taxpayer-funded disaster assistance, which averages $5,500 per household but more often means an SBA loan that must be repaid with any underlying mortgage. While there is a growing market for private flood insurance, for many, the NFIP continues to be the primary source of asset protection against flooding, the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States.
However, as currently structured, the NFIP is not financially sustainable over the long run. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program is not charging enough in premiums to cover expected claims in catastrophic loss years and has already borrowed over $30 billion from taxpayers to make up the difference. For these reasons, NAR supports a strengthened NFIP coupled with a robust private market to offer choices and maintain access to flood insurance in all markets at all times.