BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — News that President Donald Trump extended the National Flood Insurance Program for another five months was quickly tempered when the partial government shutdown soon followed.

At the 11th hour, Trump signed legislation reauthorizing NFIP through May 31, 2019, as it was about to expire on December 21. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the program, ruled on December 27 that it cannot be renewed while the government is shuttered — despite the fact that the extension was part of a temporary spending bill that funded the government before the December 22 shutdown.

According to Belmar-based Connelly-Campion-Wright Insurance (CCW), this is what homeowners with flood insurance — and those looking to obtain coverage — need to know:

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  • Policies that were in force before midnight on December 21 remain in force. The NFIP will process and pay claims under those policies as usual.
  • New and renewal contracts for flood insurance during this government shut down cannot be issued per FEMA regulations.

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.

RELATED STORY: Superstorm Sandy Victims Get 3 More Years to Flood-Proof Their Homes

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.

Although new and renewal NFIB policies are currently on hold, Connelly-Campion-Wright pointed out that there are new “private flood insurance” companies that offer flood insurance not backed by the federal government. To learn more about those products, call CCW at 732-280-2800.

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