More than half a century after its creation, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—which provides federally backed coverage for homeowners and small businesses in 23,000 communities—is failing to meet its goals of lowering federal spending on disaster response and improving flood plain management. The program is caught in a vicious cycle of flood, damage, and rebuilding, and it owes billions to the U.S. Treasury.
To address these ongoing problems, Congress must act to modernize the NFIP. An updated program will need to better reflect current and future risks, eliminate incentives for development in flood-prone areas, increase support for mitigation and improved mapping, and reduce the impacts of repeated flooding on communities.
Pew’s research and analysis can help federal policymakers reform the NFIP and support flood-ready communities.