The National Flood Insurance Program

Collected resources on reducing recovery costs and improving community preparedness

The National Flood Insurance Program
Last Updated September 20, 2021
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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.

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This year’s hurricane season is setting a record pace for the number of named storms, affecting Americans from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast with torrential rains and flooding and causing billions of dollars in damage. These storms and growing disaster costs are the latest reminder that Congress must reform outdated federal policies and programs to limit future flood risks and impacts.