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Breaking News: FEMA Reverses Flood Policy Decision

In a critical win for buyers and sellers of property requiring flood insurance during the partial government shutdown, (FEMA) will issue and renew flood insurance policies.

By Toby Tobin

Palm Coast, FL — December 29, 2018 — In a critical win for buyers and sellers of property requiring flood insurance during the partial government shutdown, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) was instrumental in convincing FEMA to reverse course.

Timelines for FEMA to resume issuing and renewing flood insurance policies over the holiday weekend are still unknown. Check Florida Realtors’ Facebook page and the home page of floridarealtors.org for updates. 

"FEMA and the [White House] Administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns and acting swiftly to address them," says NAR President John Smaby. "This new decision means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can go forward without interruption, as Congress intended when it renewed the flood insurance program earlier this week. Our research has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month that flood insurance is not available."

On Dec. 21, Congress passed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though, FEMA on Dec. 26 said it couldn't allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was unexpected because, during past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the program as authorized.

NAR, along with other organizations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, urged policymakers to reevaluate the decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

"We thank the Administration and Congress for stepping up so quickly to ensure the smooth continuation of flood insurance at a time when market disruption would be extremely hard-felt," says Shannon McGahn, NAR senior vice president of government affairs.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


Toby Tobin: REALTOR®, SRES®

I am a Florida licensed REALTOR®, SRES®, affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant analytics. By consulting with me, developers, builders, homebuyers, and sellers achieve improved outcomes and reduced stress, knowing that their real estate decisions are fact-based.

Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.

Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Mattersevery Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters anywhere in the world.

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.