There's (a little) good news for homeowners: last Friday, President Trump signed legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program until Dec. 8, 2017, which essentially buys more time for Congress to consider reforms of the program.

As we reported recently, the NFIP was set to expire in a few weeks on Sept. 30.

The NFIP extension is part of a Congressional resolution raising the debt limit and funding the U.S. government through the beginning of December. It also authorizes $15.25 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief and rebuilding, that includes $7.8 billion for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Hopefully, this gives the government time to make necessary reforms and changes to the existing NFIP program, instead of simply renewing it.

According to a recent article on Insurance Journal, the advocacy group Taxpayers for Common Sense has called for Congress to rethink not only the federal flood insurance program but also the country’s entire approach to disaster relief. The federal share of disaster response costs has grown from less than 30 percent after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 to more than 75 percent after Superstorm Sandy, the group said.

This hurricane season has been particularly devastating for homeowners. The full hurricane season lasts from June through October, peaking around September 10th. According to CNN, a combination of warmer ocean waters and an absence of El Nino have made this year's season particularly rough. "With El Niño failing to take shape, there was a 62% chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the United States this season, Colorado State forecasters had said. The average risk is 52%.

This season, most models have predicted  between 14 to 19 named storms, five to nine hurricanes, and two to five major hurricanes. While Ohio isn't in hurricane territory, the Midwest isn't immune to the effects of big storms. As such, we recommend calling your insurance agent to be sure your home is adequately protected.

Source: CNN, 2017 hurricane season hasn't peaked yet. Here's what to expect | Insurance Journal, National Flood Insurance Program Extended Until Dec. 8

Photo credit: Flickr/Sergey Kochkarev

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