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Federal Government Shutdown Limits National Flood Insurance Program

Harrisburg, PA - Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today alerted consumers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has limited the ability of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to issue new and renewal flood insurance policies due to the federal government partial shutdown.

According to FEMA, policies that were in force before midnight on Dec. 21, 2018 remain in force. The NFIP will process and pay claims under those policies as usual from the National Flood Insurance Fund and the National Flood Insurance Reserve Fund until depleting these funds, but will not have authority to borrow any additional funds from the U.S. Treasury. Existing flood insurance policies remain valid regardless of FEMA’s capacity to pay claims.

Homeowners who live in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) with federal-government backed mortgages, and most other mortgages, are required by their lenders to have flood coverage.

“Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Purchasing flood insurance is required for some property owners and may be a wise investment for anyone regardless of their property location, and so the government shutdown could impact consumers who are in the process of closing on a home or property,” Altman said. “I advise realtors and consumers alike to be aware of the latest developments regarding the government shutdown and its impact on the NFIP.”

The NFIP provides flood insurance to homeowners, renters and businesses located in a flood zone, but flood insurance is also available to any property owner or renter, regardless of their location, through private insurers, including surplus lines insurers.

The government shutdown has no impact private flood insurance policies.

For more information about flood insurance, visit the Insurance Department’s flood insurance webpage by visiting and clicking on the “Flood” icon. The page has information about both the NFIP and private insurance, and a list of producers and insurers selling private coverage.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Rementer - 717-787-3289

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