R.J. Lehmann on NFIP debt

ClimateWire – ICLE Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann was quoted by ClimateWire in a story about the state of the National Flood Insurance Program following Hurricane Ian. You can read full story here.

R.J. Lehmann, an expert on flood insurance at the International Center for Law & Economics, said that if the National Flood Insurance Program ran out of money, policyholders “would get in line and wait for some form of authority” from Congress to borrow money or forgive the $20.5 billion debt.

“They would have no capacity to pay any claims at that point,” Lehmann said. “It is possible the NFIP could default on its obligation to its policyholders.”

Both Lehmann and Fugate said they doubted Congress would let the program run out of money. They said lawmakers would probably increase its borrowing capacity by either forgiving the $20.5 billion debt or by enacting legislation similar to the bill DeSantis opposed in January 2013 — to increase its borrowing authority.