GAO Report on Federal Flood Insurance Program

Published Mar 04, 2015

The agency responsible for managing the federal flood insurance program has made progress in carrying out key changes mandated by Congress in two recent laws but lacks resources and data to completely implement others, according to a Government Accountability Office report.


For instance, FEMA repealed certain rate increases and got premiums refunds to policyholders of the NFIP as promised under the law. Refunds began in October 2014 and, according to FEMA, almost all refunds were issued by December 2014. But FEMA has been unable to make insurance rate changes for business properties because it cannot distinguish among policies for businesses, nonprofits, and other nonresidential properties.


According to the GAO report, FEMA has improved its mapping process but still has along way to go in this area. FEMA estimates that mapping requirements are about 30 percent complete and that it will take several years to finish. The study cites inadequate data and funding.


Progress has been mixed in the area of reserves also. While FEMA has set up a required reserve fund intended to keep the NFIP’s $23 billion debt to the federal government from growing, it has not met the yearly target for reserve fund contributions, according to GAO. It has, however, begun raising assessments and surcharges to boost the fund.


Click here to read the complete article on the GOA report.