BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has resumed the sale of new flood insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies during the partial government shutdown — reversing its decision that was met with a deluge of criticism by the insurance and real estate industries.
Shortly before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was due to expire on December 21, President Donald Trump extended it through May 31, 2019. But after the partial government shutdown, FEMA ruled on December 26 that NFIP could not be renewed while the government is shuttered — until its latest ruling late yesterday, December 28.
"Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it will resume the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies. This rescinds initial guidance issued on December 26," according to the latest FEMA statement. "As of this evening, all NFIP insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since December 21, 2018 without interruption."
Flooding is a major concern in communities like Belmar and Lake Como, where the Atlantic Ocean is to the east, the Shark River to the west, Lake Como to the south, and Silver Lake and the Shark River inlet to the north. And the concern only has been compounded with the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Under NFIP, nearly 1,000 flood insurance policies are in effect in Belmar and Lake Como, representing some $565,000 in annual premiums for $57 million of insurance in force.