The House has passed a multiyear flood insurance extension bill, clearing the measure for the president's signature with plenty of time to avoid a looming stoppage in the issuance of flood insurance policies on June 30.The Senate passed the bill (S. 2238) last week. The bill (S. 2238) extends the NFIP for five years and creates a new $40 million pilot program to reduce the cost of insurance claims on properties that are repeatedly hit by floods. "This bill would at last move the NFIP towards a more free-market insurance model by requiring people living in flood-prone areas to reduce their risk of flooding or pay higher premiums," said Rep. Doug Bereuter, R-Neb., who originated the concept of this flood mitigation program. Homeowners who refuse federal buyouts or other forms of assistance to shore up, elevate, or move their properties will see their flood insurance premiums increase dramatically. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

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