On July 31, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire, barring congressional renewal. Homebuyers who plan to get flood insurance should consider a few factors.
If the program is allowed to lapse, no new policies can be written, but existing policy holders would keep their coverage. Homebuyers whose lenders require flood insurance may not be able to close on the house without the policy, according to CNBC. Additionally, if there is a lapse and then a renewal, it takes 30 days for federal policy to take effect, time that is made more precious as late July and August are in the height of hurricane season. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which oversees the program, says it would still have authority to process claims if there is a lapse.
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 75 percent chance that the season will be near normal or above normal. The agency expects 10 to 16 named storms and, of those, five to nine could become hurricanes. Subtropical storm Alberto, which made landfall in Florida in early June, was the first named storm of 2018. Last year, the season included monster hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Combined, they caused $265 billion in damage, according to NOAA.